'A Raspberry Pi has gone where no other Pi has gone before'.
The Raspberry Pi was used by a British amateur balloonist as a flight computer aboard a balloon.
Ballooning enthusiast Dave Akerman, hooked a Raspberry Pi with a webcam and a GPS up to a hydrogen balloon.
It managed to reach an altitude of almost 25 miles (40km) before the balloon popped and returned to Earth.
Mr Akerman decided to use a Raspberry Pi to control the payload on his near-space craft because its USB port made it easy to connect up a cheap webcam.
Prior to using the Pi, Mr Akerman had relied on payloads built around the Arduino microcontroller to power the sensor package lifted by the balloon.
These too can control a camera, however, said Mr Akerman they were much more expensive and harder to use than a familiar webcam.
"The Pi is not the obvious choice for this," he told the BBC. "I chose it because it was on my desk and I thought it would be a neat thing to use."
Using the Pi had introduced problems because it was relatively heavy, complicated and drew quite a lot of power, he said.
The Pi sent live images throughout the flight and they were retrieved by tracking its onboard radio transmitter.
Apparently, these are the highest ever photographs transmitted from an amateur device anywhere in the world.
Now, he plans to do a second flight for his 'Pi craft', which survived the flight completely unscathed.
On the next ascent, he will add a video camera to the payload to capture footage of its journey.
NEWS SOURCE #1: Technology #18900862 (via) BBC News
NEWS SOURCE #2: Archives #1620 (via) Raspberry PI
Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news item!