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PigglyMSP / PicoCHU [M6]

Status: Failed

Mission Profile

High altitude (meteorological) balloon flight with 3 payloads. One Raspberry Pi, one custom pico PCB and tardigrades. Antenna has been reverted back to the stubby with dish due to poor performance from the co-linear dipole.

Mission Objectives


  • Successful launch and recovery of the pico using a high altitude balloon
  • Test new antenna of RPi with stabilising disk
  • Test new payload shape
  • Receive telemetry from Pico at over 10km


  • To advance our ability to design, manufacture and fly hardware
  • To provide useful data and experience for future balloon flights and other missions; e.g. telemetry, tracking
  • To provide reference and publicity material for outreach activity
  • To record biological payloads before and after flight
  • Test wide angle camera with standalone battery
  • Revieve LoRa transmission from Pico

Flight Plan

Intended profile, for actual profile see Mission Outcome.

Callsign Piggly PicoCHU
Date 15/10/2017
Location Hanging Gate Inn, Macclesfield
Duration 2h 0m
Location Leeds


HAB Package EP-02

Core Tx Radio
Raspberry Pi
Power Unit (c/w Batteries)
Environmental Sensors None
Performance Sensors Unknown
Additional Equipment Camera [standalone] drawing power from separate cells
Tardigrade container with Tardigrades

Pico Package Pico-EP-M1

Core Pico PCB

388g hab payload 35g pico

0g parachute

Tracking & Communication

Direct tracking will be achieved using Tracking Kit TK-M2. This will be used for tracking on launch and landing.

Indirect flight tracking will be achieved using HAB community online resources.

We also be using LoRa to communicate with the Pico, this currently is being tracked by our own equipment, which is another PicoPCB.

Example payload string : “$$MSPpi1,347,19:41:58,53.48425,-2.23625,00037,0,0,11,33.1,0.0,0.000*0A83”

Technical Details

Build Details

Preparation Details

Test Details

Mission Data

Raw flight data was posted

Mission Outcome

Summary The mission was regarded as a failure. We did not achieve our objectives and we lost the pico payload. The balloon was released during windy conditions. There was consensus that it was safe enough to launch despite protests. The balloon traced a large sideways path and it eventually got caught in a telephone line. The line was cut and the balloon was let go with the pico. The main hab payload was left on the telephone line and was collected later by a BT engineer.

Discussion We agreed to make sure that we do not launch if the conditions are windy, even with some light wind.

Raw flight info is here :

hab/mission_6.txt · Last modified: 2021/10/02 15:22 (external edit)