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Public Lab Research note

Small kites for Mobius: Stowaway Delta

by patcoyle | July 24, 2015 06:11 24 Jul 06:11 | #12098 | #12098

What I want to do

Continue to explore smaller kites for use with Mobius Infragram plant cam. See prior note and note and note.

My prior notes document experience with the the pocket sled which was marginal and the Premier Parafoil 5 which was very useable in a small form-factor package.

This one presents the initial result with the Prism Stowaway Delta, a very capable 5' delta that breaks down to 18" package. Based on the pull, this kite looks like it will also lift our typical single camera Canon point and shoot in a juice bottle rig.



My attempt and results

The Prism Stowaway Delta flies better with tails. I used the ribbon tail that came with it and 15' fuzzy tails from Brooxes KAP, as shown below:


Maiden flight without camera

Flight at Robertson Park

This video is a little dizzy-making but shows the image sequence from the flight at 24 fps. It is an interesting take on what the platform captures:

Stowaway Delta with Infragram Mobius at Robertson Park Livermore CA. Images cropped and fisheye addressed with Gimp Filter distort lens correction

Main image shows exported image from Mapknitter and the color and grey-scale NDVI images from Ned Horning's Fiji photomonitoring plug-in.

Questions and next steps

As before, tried Gimp lens correction and stitched a few images in MapKnitter. The alternate lens option looks more attractive, if a suitable non-fish-eye one works out.

Why I'm interested

As noted in prior posts, portable, even if not "pocket-sized" aerial photo mapping tools have a place in our tool kits.


Yeah, i agree that having a more regular mobius lens would improve stitching. Liz has recently done a bunch of fisheye NIr maps, and may also have opinions

What rig setup did you use? I liked the solo cup idea that was posted a while back.

I am using the soda bottle rig, but bolting the Mobius into the plastic, because the orientation of the camera body is not the best for the rubber band setup

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The description of the rig I used is described in the videos in this playlist. Hope this helps. It's just in early prototyping, so suggestions are welcome.:


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Hi Pat! I have these very cheap and light 18" mylar balloons, and was wondering if two of them would lift a mobius. Obvious advantages:

  • fits in car or subway
  • stays inflated for a week or more
  • less helium
  • cheaper balloons - <$2 each
  • redundancy if one pops

Would you be willing to try them out if I mail them to you?


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Jeff, absolutely. Sorry I didn't see this or the notification. What's the source to purchase?

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Ah, cool! I found them for $1.29 each here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WL7ZQ6

I bought two, but maybe three is a good idea in case 2 won't lift a mobius!

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Oh wow, great find!

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