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SkyPod GPS Logger
skypod-gps-logger

The SkyPod is an Arduino-based GPS logger designed to fly on a kite or balloon camera rig, but can be used as a general purpose data logger with a GPS receiver. The SkyPod includes an Arduino Nano, GPS module with antenna, and microSD card socket. Environmental sensors for temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are typically part of the payload. Data can be saved to microSD card at any interval. Everything fits into a 3D printed housing which can be firmly attached to a camera rig. There are a few reasons to use a GPS receiver on a flying camera rig to collect location data: 1. Some structure from motion software (makes 3D models from photos) require that photos have GPS data in the EXIF header or work better or faster if GPS data are present. 3. Some orthophoto mapping software can georeference the stitched image if GPS data are present in the photos. 4. Mapknitter and Google Earth will automatically place photos if they contain GPS data. 5. The track followed by the flying camera can be displayed in three dimensions, possibly with other data collected. 6. You can learn how high the camera was. [![Skypod_20170412-7979b.jpg](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/932/medium/Skypod_20170412-7979b.jpg)](https://publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/022/932/original/Skypod_20170412-7979b.jpg) *Above: These parts can be assembled (soldering required) to make a SkyPod GPS Logger.* ###Parts - **Arduino Nano**. Nano clones cost about $3.00 on eBay or [$4.00 to $10.00 at US retailers](https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=arduino+nano&tag=googhydr-20&index=electronics&hvadid=173554986927&hvpos=1t2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15080925241715253772&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003117&hvtargid=aud-345055983774:kwd-15608517219&ref=pd_sl_7sxbv5mstz_e). The Nano should not have headers soldered on (to fit in the bracket), and these typically cost less. - **GPS receiver**. This is a u-blox NEO-7M-000 GPS breakout board and antenna. [It costs about $13.00 on eBay](https://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=Ublox+NEO-7M-000+GPS+Module+MWC+APM2.6+Replace+NEO-6M+GYGPSV3-NEO7M+D&_id=112083428833&&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2658). - **MicroSD card module**. This module works at either 3.3v or 5v (the Nano is 5v). It is a different module than the 3v version used with the Mini Pearl Logger. It costs [less than $1.00 on eBay](https://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=Micro+SD+Storage+Board+Mciro+SD+TF+Card+Memory+Shield+Module+SPI+For+Arduino+FT&_id=401202127056&&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2658). - **Battery or battery case**. Four AAA alkaline batteries will supply 6 volts (6 to 12 volts are okay). - **Bracket**. A 3D printed bracket has been designed to hold all the parts in a compact payload for aerial missions. The model to print the bracket is [freely available at Thingiverse](https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2712540). The bracket is designed to fit the exact parts linked above. - **MicroSD card**. Any MicroSD card will do. Large capacity is not needed. - **Sensor**. Sensors are not required, and many different ones can be connected. A good sensor to connect is the BME280 sensor for barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity. These cost about [$6.00 on eBay](https://www.ebay.com/itm/10DOF-I2C-SPI-GY-91-BME280-MPU9250-BMP280-Kompass-Barom-for-Arduino-Raspberry-Pi/112215372695?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=412478252599&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649). - **Additional parts**. Wires, Velcro, a few screws, etc. Kits with all the parts to build a SkyPod GPS Logger are [available at the KAPtery](http://kaptery.com/product/skypod-kit) for $44.00. ###Assembly Two documents about assembling the SkyPod GPS Logger are available at the [KAPtery Guides page](http://kaptery.com/guides/). A research note [describes the assembly process.](https://publiclab.org/notes/cfastie/08-07-2017/assembling-a-skypod-gps-logger) ###Software A sketch which logs data from the GPS receiver and BME280 sensor is available at the [KAPtery Guides page](http://kaptery.com/guides/). ### Activities [activities:skypod-gps-logger] ### Questions [questions:skypod-gps-logger] ...


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
tahnok " I was thinking for that price I might be able to crack one open to harvest it for parts, or maybe hook up an arduino to the output somehow. BUT th..." | Read more » about 3 years ago
cfastie "Hi tahnok, Those inexpensive anemometers seems to be missing an important feature of the expensive Kestrel and other fancy anemometers. They do no..." | Read more » about 3 years ago
tahnok " Have you done any test flights with some of the ~20$ anemometers you can find on Amazon to compare with the Kestrel? " | Read more » about 3 years ago
warren "https://publiclab.org/as220 " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "I'm putting together a page on the AS220 sensors and want to list this and another on there -- I hope that drives some interest in the SkyPod and o..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
zengirl2 "@cfastie well isn't that NASA item a bit complicated. Here's an Instructable that mentions that process. http://www.instructables.com/id/Low-Altit..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
cfastie "Thanks Zengirl. I don't think you can buy a NASA Aeropod. You can license the technology from NASA and manufacture them, but I don't know if anyone..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
zengirl2 "First, your video is awesome and I'm glad you explained the lines from pulling in the kite. I really like the look of the NASA anemometer--what is ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
cfastie "A goat is way better than brown M&Ms. But that is not exactly my motivation here because I'm sure everybody reads my research notes extremely ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "Hi, Chris -- great post as usual! I do have to ask about your comment regarding chemtrails -- I strongly suspect you put that there to see if anyo..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
cfastie "It would be fun to try an Aeropod. I couldn't find any details about the instruments, but it looks like an awesome contraption to fly. " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Hi, Chris, I think it's possible we could get a wind profiler "payload" for the (patented) Aeropod sent out, which has a Kestrel attached. If so, m..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
cfastie "A pitot tube measures air pressure and uses fancy math to relate that to wind speed. I assume the ones on airplanes work better than the Rev P. " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Yeah it reminds me of the things (pitons?) used to measure windspeed from the leading edge of an airplane. Uhhhhh bootstrapping? :-) " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
cfastie "I decided not to drop into the rabbit hole of applying time series analysis to these data. There does appear to be some periodicity present, but I ..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Sorry to miss some of this as I was away last week, and just catching up again now. This looks really great! Sorry if I missed it, but were you abl..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
cfastie "I have a hypothesis about the different results obtained with two BME280 sensors on the flying rig. A difference of 3° to 4°C is more than should b..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
cfastie "Yes, the newer Rev. P sensor works better in high wind because it has a strong heater so the wind can't cool it off too fast. But the older Rev C s..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
warren "Hi, Chris - this is so great. I had just been talking with folks at NASA Globe and the AREN project about wanting to test a datalogger with one of ..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
cfastie "A running mean of the aerial wind speed looks like a very reasonable result. The red line is a running mean of 10 observations (which were six seco..." | Read more » almost 5 years ago
cfastie "Thanks guys. I started the SkyPod wiki. I'm never sure what constitutes an Activity, but maybe there will be some obvious ones eventually. " | Read more » about 5 years ago
warren "This is very cool. Chris, any interest in starting a /wiki/skypod page, where we could collect Q&A and such? I was about to ask about the weigh..." | Read more » about 5 years ago
patcoyle "Very nice, Chris. " | Read more » about 5 years ago