I've seen a lot of reports lately of recent and past amateur balloon launches. People have been launching sounding balloons with payloads containing GPS and cameras, and have been very successful. I've wanted to do this for some time, and coming across all these reports has excited me about the idea again.
Really what I want to do is launch a satellite. So I've decided to expand the scope of the balloon launch in support of a future satellite launch. I've ordered the Microhard radio we'll be using on the satellite to test on the balloon.
We're going to build a payload with GPS, temperature, pressure, still pictures, and possibly video. Lots of work to do in the link budget calculation to see what we can do, and within the 1.8-kg payload FAA limit. We're also building a directional 2.4 GHz antenna to automatically point at the thing (a project I began a couple years ago for UAV use).
This is going to be fun. Check back for updates.