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Public Lab Wiki documentation

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SkyPod GPS Logger

The SkyPod is an Arduino based GPS logger designed to fly on a kite or balloon camera rig. The SkyPod includes a GPS module and antenna, Arduino Nano, and microSD card. Environmental sensors can be added. Data can be saved to microSD card at any interval. Everything fits into a 3D printed housing which can be firmly attached to a camera rig.

There are a few reasons to use a GPS receiver on a flying camera rig to collect location data:

  1. Some structure from motion software (makes 3D models from photos) require that photos have GPS data in the EXIF header or work better or faster if GPS data are present.
  2. Some orthophoto mapping software can georeference the stitched image if GPS data are present in the photos.
  3. Mapknitter and Google Earth will automatically place photos if they contain GPS data.
  4. The track followed by the flying camera can be displayed in three dimensions, possibly with other data collected.
  5. You can learn how high the camera was.

Several research notes at Public Lab describe the development and use of the SkyPod.

Kits to build a SkyPod are available at the KAPtery.


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Activities show how to use this project, step by step.

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
First flight of the SkyPod - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Winds aloft - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Winds aloft: less noise - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Assembling a SkyPod GPS logger - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »

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balloon-mapping kite-mapping kite-aerial-photography balloon-telemetry-kit kap gps skypod