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Texan stitches stratosphere into stunning panoramas

One mighty orb and six vid cameras for fully spherical imagery

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Take one mighty hydrogen-filled orb, six panoramic vid cameras, hours of image-stitching jiggery-pokery and you too can produce fully spherical panoramic imagery from the stratosphere...

Panoramic view at 29,000m

The 360 degree view at 29,000m

...or capture a 360 degree movie of your balloon burst at a breathtaking 29,378m (96,383ft):

The above is the result of two years' work by Texas local Caleb Anderson, who got in touch to share the results of Operation Stratosphere.

Inspired by high-altitude GoPro Hero vid footage he'd seen, and using his experience of panoramic stitching, Caleb set about blagging some cameras and putting together a data-gathering set-up comprising "four thermistors, one humidity sensor, two DS18B20 digital temperature sensors, one GPS module, one 1300mAh LiPo, one 1 gigabyte Micro SD, a huge amount of learning, and way too many late nights".

Caleb's electronic sensor rig

The sensor rig

As with all the best home-brew projects, the dining room table proved an essential work surface...

Caleb assembles the payload

The payload comes together

...before launch day arrived in Burnet, Texas:

Caleb prepares the payload at the launch site

Caleb preps his payload

Lights, cameras, action: A awful lot of GoPro kit

The payload ready for panoramic duty

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: The mighty orb...

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