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HAB (High Altitude Ballooning) is a growing hobby where enthusiasts use standard weather balloons to put small payloads typically 100g-1kg into “near space” at altitudes of around 30km or so, carrying a tracking device (so the balloon position is known throughout the flight) and usually some sensors (temperature, pressure etc) and often a video or stills camera storing to an SD card for later retrieval.
The job of the tracker is to read the location from the GPS receiver, possibly also read some sensors, and then format and send a telemetry sentence to the ground over a low power radio link.
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in response to the Sept. Beginning in 2020, a REAL ID will be required for commercial air travel and for visitors to federal buildings, military installations and nuclear facilities.
On the way to 30km the outside will get down to -50C, and even with minimal insulation the batteries will self-heat to stay within their operating range.
I then added a small piece of stripboard carrying a Radiometrix NTX2 radio transmitter to send the telemetry and images down to the ground, and connected that to a simple GPS receiver on a wire tail so it can be kept away from the transmitting devices.
The final item for a basic tracker is a suitable power supply.
The Pi needs 5V supplied to it, so I used an external LDO (Low Drop Out) linear regulator fed from 6 AAs which will supply enough voltage to the regulator until they are pretty much flat.
With the regulator dissipating up to 3 watts it needed and got a heatsink.