MageDK
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:49 pm

Transmit data over long range (20+ miles)

Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:53 pm

I am thinking of launching a weather balloon with a Raspberry Pi package. I want to be able to transmit some pictures and possibly video as well as data from a variety of sensory.
GPS, temperature, pressure, etc.

The only issue I am struggling with is how to transmit that data from the raspberry pi to my base station on the ground. The range can be up to 23 miles into the sky.

Any ideas?

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mikronauts
Posts: 2750
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:28 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Transmit data over long range (20+ miles)

Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:00 pm

lora may work for you

https://www.electronicdesign.com/indust ... ut-lorawan
MageDK wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:53 pm
I am thinking of launching a weather balloon with a Raspberry Pi package. I want to be able to transmit some pictures and possibly video as well as data from a variety of sensory.
GPS, temperature, pressure, etc.

The only issue I am struggling with is how to transmit that data from the raspberry pi to my base station on the ground. The range can be up to 23 miles into the sky.

Any ideas?
http://Mikronauts.com - home of EZasPi, RoboPi, Pi Rtc Dio and Pi Jumper @Mikronauts on Twitter
Advanced Robotics, I/O expansion and prototyping boards for the Raspberry Pi

emma1997
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:00 pm
Location: New England (not that old one)

Re: Transmit data over long range (20+ miles)

Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:37 pm

LORA may not be the best choice for pictures and videos. Or anything realtime except tiny data packets. It might take a day and a half to transfer a typical JPG. Video might not finish before OP shuffles off the mortal coil. I've used LORA to send GPS and environmental info even farther than OP's range for RC autopilot hobby.

You might check out WSPR which is regularly used to track balloons thousands of miles. In fact around the world: https://www.qrp-labs.com/circumnavigators.html . Ham license required, and not beginner level.

Sending pics and realtime video are possible using analog RF video transmitters. A ham radio license is required here too. The Pi would not be directly involved. Sometimes data is sent over audio channel or during rescan/blanking.

Long distance high throughput digital transmission is possible but, again, license is required and very expensive. I'm thinking 4g/5g may be the best solution here. More than a few UAV used cell phones onboard but can be done with a Pi.


dustnbone
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:49 am

Re: Transmit data over long range (20+ miles)

Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:06 am

Since it's in the air, line of sight shouldn't be a problem, so WiFi could probably be made to work with directional antennas, if the lateral motion relative to the ground station isn't too much.

Unamplified wifi links over 200km with consumer Linksys wifi routers have been achieved.

emma1997
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:00 pm
Location: New England (not that old one)

Re: Transmit data over long range (20+ miles)

Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:24 am

Only with fixed extremely high gain antenna having ridiculously directional beam pattern. On the order of a laser pointer. Punters had to hold their breath to get a connection and even then uselessly low data rates.

Aside from being impractical for an airborne vehicle jerking around in the air, totally illegal. Although WIFI is sometimes used for preflight configuration from a few feet away (more commonly BT or short range UHF like hc12 type modules), doubtful it would work in this case.

I have great interest in long distance control myself and would love to know if anything other than 4g/5g or high power video transmitter might work here. At least anything that don't cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Long range, high throughput, reasonable cost: pick two one.

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