Public Lab Research note

Solar ballon flight trajectory visualization

by joaquinx |

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Hi everyone! I'm Joaquin, from Buenos Aires and I am collaborating with the Aerocene project on visualizing flight paths trajectories. We have developed instructions on how to record and visualize a balloon's trajectory that might be of interest to the Public Lab crowd:

Feel free to join the conversations, ask any questions or contribute knowledge!

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solar-balloon google-earth data-collection dataviz aerocene

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Beautiful work @joaquinx ! are the four different color trajectories in the image different balloons or different launches from the same balloon? what do you think accounts for the difference? just curious :)

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@nshapiro Hi Nick! Four different balloons. Note of interest, the highest flying balloon cord length was double the other ones. In the future we could tie trajectory color variation to a magnitude like temperature or air quality like @cfastie has done here:

ah! great, thanks Joaquin! that is what I assumed about the red 'signature'! as the height seemed about double the green. my condolences to the blue balloon :) yes @cfastie I remember when i first brought that research note over to the studio in Berlin and everyone got really excited. you've inspired a lot of aerocene work, chris!

It's really good to see these flight trajectories. I think it's an important way to document a flight.

I have not been able to figure out how to make a KML file that displays each segment of a route with a color determined by a variable like temperature or humidity. It would be great to learn how to do that so Google Earth can display our flight trajectories with environmental data. I have lots of data from the SkyPod Data Logger with lat, lon, alt, temp, humidity, and pressure in a csv file with timestamps. Let me know if you figure out how to display one of those variables as colors in Google Earth.


@cfastie Hi Chris I've researched quite a bit and haven't found any references to lines with varying colors following a variable for the KML language. Thanks to @nshapiro I know It's definitely possible with Cesium I will be looking into this in the future and will get back to you if I make progress. It's just JavaScript so it shouldn't be too hard. Few examples:

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