Feeds

Texan stitches stratosphere into stunning panoramas

One mighty orb and six vid cameras for fully spherical imagery

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The mighty orb...

Caleb and the expanding balloon

Caleb and his mighty orb

The massive balloon held under a couple of sheets

Hi-tech balloon control system

The balloon just before launch

Ready to roll...

The payload finally came down close to Salado, Texas, some 70km northeast of the launch site, but once Caleb had recovered his kit, the work really began.

Cunningly using the GoPro audio tacks to sync the footage in Audacity, Caleb was able to pull selected single frames from each of the six cameras to produce some impressive panoramas (best viewed here in Caleb's panoramic viewer):

The panoramic view at 2,300m

The panoramic view at 2,300m

Stitching video proved somewhat more challenging, not least because of the rotation of the payload. Here's an entertaining view of an uncorrected panorama:

As you can see from the balloon burst footage, Caleb was able to crack the problem using Hugin and a custom Python script. The full, tortuous process is described here.

The results speak for themselves. Here's another panoramic view and video of payload touch-down as seen from all six cameras:

Another panorama at 1,600m

Another lovely view at 1,600m

Caleb told us he's entirely self-taught, and currently earns a crust as a simulation engineer, having in the past "worn the hats of game developer, console programmer, and software engineer".

Regarding future stratospheric plans, he said: "I am floating an idea in my head to do another big launch with 12 GoPro Hero 3 cameras, redundant tracking systems, more data gathering, and a ground-based optical tracking system using a telescope and some software (the mount for which and the hardware for which I'll have to develop). It won't be easy, nor will it be soon." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.