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The Gaia Project
Article Index
The Gaia Project
Page 2
The Gaia Project
A mission to near-space
(last updated 29-05-2012)

Picture of earth from another balloon project at an altitude of 30km
The Gaia project incorporates the use of a balloon with equipment attatched, to reach at an altitude of about 30km above ground.
High altitude ballooning is an excellent hobby for people fascinated by space flight and telerobotics and has many learning aspects - from systems design to electronics design and software engineering. There is also an exciting risk factor, namely, that you could lose your precious electronics if something malfunctions. In this project, many of your interest and knowledge areas come together.
The Gaia project starting point is 2-2-2009. The main goals are to:
  • Take some photos/videos of the earth from 30km above groung.
  • Take some measurements at that altitude.
  • Operate a repeater service onboard.
  • Operate a telemetry service onboard.
We are asking for your cooperation and contribution to the project. Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Your name or callsign will be written among the names of the GMG team members that contributed to Gaia.
This is a really fascinating thing to do. Lets design a real space mission together!
Current contributors to the project:
  • NM0S
  • SV3EXP
  • SV3IAO
  • SW3ORA (Konstantinos Giannopoulos)
  • Pavlos Georgiadis
Project progress
Two metereological baloons arrived these days. You may see pictures of the baloons here: 1 , 23
After a quick search through the internet SV3EXP found a really cheap and lightweight solution for the equipment on board in this link .We have not decided yet if we are going to go in such a solution but this is a very interesting idea.
The balloon engine for the project will be bought ftom Kaymont . Kaymont Consolidated is the largest supplier of Totex Meteorological Balloons to U.S. government, educational, and commercial institutions. By combining a unique rotational manufacturing process along with the highest quality assurance, Kaymont meteorological balloons have continuously performed up to their specifications in all types of weather conditions for nearly 20 years. For 30km height, they have suggested the 1500gram balloon which is the most popular size. The cost is $90 plus shipping.
Currently NM0S cooperates with SW3ORA for the creation of an efficient communications repeater system. Specifically the design of an efficient class-E amplifier at 50MHz for narrow FM mode. There is also an issue, if a linear transpoder must be used or a nomimal repeater. The cost is a key issue here because there is always the possibility to loose the equipment.
SV3EXP also cooperates with SW3ORA for the multimedia and computer part of the project. Currently we are thinking of using a pico-ATX motherboard for the computer part. It is quite expensive, but if we want to use a GPS and a camera, these can be easily connected to a computer for data proccessing and the total cost of the system will be much lower than obtaining separate stand alone systems. Also the total weight will be low.
There has been a discussion among the contributors about the different aspects of the project. The conversation is presented as a reference only (in Greek) at the page2 of the article index.
* This page will be continuously updated with the latest news about the project, so check out back soon!

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