Live Stream from the Edge of Space

$1,905 of $1,700 goal

Raised by 12 people in 27 months
James Labadorf
on behalf of James Labadorf
An engineer, an accountant, and a biologist walk into a coffee shop... and they dream up a plan to live stream the upcoming solar eclipse.

On December 3 students at Bob Jones University launched a high altitude balloon, as the climax to a semester of an intense freshman engineering course. This successful launch inspired us, a team of students ranging from accounting to physics, to challenge ourselves to a more ambitious launch.

We knew that a solar eclipse would occur on August 21, 2017, and decided to capture the event and live stream it on services such as YouTube.com, Twitch.tv, Facebook, or Periscope.

To be able to succeed, we need to raise $1,700. Our team will use the funds for sensors, cameras, communications and control equipment, and tracking systems. Additionally, we need expendables like helium, a balloon, and batteries for the onboard electronics.

We have an aggressive timetable for completing this project but can launch if we raise the funds by April 5.

We would love to complete this project, but we need your help. This project is ambitious, we know, but it is not impossible. With your help, we can see the sun like never before.

UPDATE: July 26, 2017

We have almost all of the major parts in hand, including the ATV transmitter.  The biggest part of code that needed to be written was finished this evening.  We still have a long way to go, but we are making progress!!! See the Facebook page for pictures.


Q: Who is in charge?

A: KJ4IQS James is the project manager and KJ4ZWA Fleet is the lead engineer. We are working in conjunction with the IEEE Piedmont Student Branch.

Q: What experience do you have?

A: James is a senior in college. He is an Eagle Scout and was a senior patrol leader. He has done several large scale electronics projects, including building and utilizing a home solar observation station in cooperation with Stanford University as well as designing & building a working model submarine. James is a technician class amateur radio operator (KJ4IQS).

Fleet is the Team Lead for Engineering and Communications for the project.  He is a freshman engineering major, as well as a general class amateur radio operator. He has 7 years of electronics experience, including being a certified Aircraft Electronics Technician (NCATT AET) for a year and a half. He has also worked on a previous (successful) balloon launch.

Q: Is it just a bunch of college kids working on this project?

A: No; we have two professors at the university working with us, as well as a physicist, an engineering PhD candidate, and a retired engineer as consultants.

Q: Is this project going to stay below the FAA limit of 4 pounds?

A: At this point, yes.  We are estimating the weight to be about 3.5 pounds.

Q: Where are your launch and landing sites going to be?

A: We do not know yet because we cannot predict the weather this far in advance.  The launch zone will fluctuate until the morning of launch.

Q: What frequencies will you be using?

A: We will publish a list of our operating frequencies before we launch.  At this point, all of our transmissions should be in either the 2-meter band or the 70 cm band.
+ Read More
Great News!!!
Stratos Project Funding Update!!!
+ Read More
Check out our project trailer on our Youtube channel.
Don't forget to subscribe!

+ Read More
This is one of the new diffraction gratings that just arrived in the mail. We are going to be coupling one of these with the full spectrum camera to make a spectrometer for the payload.
Diffraction grating
+ Read More
This is the new pan/tilt mount that we will be interfacing into the system. This will enable us to turn the camera toward the eclipse, and hopefully keep it pointed in the right direction!
Pan/tilt mount
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$1,905 of $1,700 goal

Raised by 12 people in 27 months
Created March 18, 2017
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
23 months ago
William Wilkes
24 months ago
Mark Johnson
26 months ago

Good Luck to all!

Coupon Clippers
26 months ago (Offline Donation)
Joseph Riplinger
27 months ago
Joe Fitter
27 months ago

Good luck on your balloon launch from Joe, K7JOE and the crew at the Indiana University Amateur Radio Club (K9IU)

James Gately
27 months ago

Good luck with the project! Jim KG5OOU

27 months ago
Nathan Cohen
27 months ago (Offline Donation)

Dr. Nathan Cohen (W1YW) of Fractal Antenna Systems

Fred Fisher
27 months ago

Ham Radio Operator WF9Q

Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.