I am planning to do a near space balloon project with my son. I want to do something special. I don't want to just send up a camera I want to broadcast live video and other metrics.

I have a strong coding background and Arduino background.

What I want to know is

  1. If I can transmit live video feed (maybe 1 - 2 fps) over UHF?
  2. If I cant use UHF what is the proper transmitter for this?
  3. If I can use UHF is there a easy to use Arduino module?

I am estimating the range need at anywhere from 100k - 120kft so 19 - 22 miles give or take.

  • \$\begingroup\$ its not the data rate that is the problem rather it's the earth surface radius your transmission will cover and the potential impact 10m watts transmitted might have on aircraft. You don't need much power, 10mW should do it but finding a frequency that this is allowed might be problematic. Using a directional antenna like a Yagi, pointed downwards could reducepower out to a couple of mW. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Oct 19 '13 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay so to be clear, you are saying that UHF should be able to meet my needs however I need to check into FAA and FCC guidelines in regards to which freqs I can use \$\endgroup\$ – Anthony Russell Oct 19 '13 at 21:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Basically yes plus launching a balloon maybe an issue for air traffic. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Oct 19 '13 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka I have my private pilots license and know the rules for requesting temporary airmen notifications for balloon launches. I am more concerned with the radio disruptions \$\endgroup\$ – Anthony Russell Oct 19 '13 at 22:06

Estimate the bit rate required. Then choose a modulation method and estimate the bandwidth required for the bit rate. Then search your local radiofrequency allocations for suitable spectrum, according to how much you can pay.

Or, as you suggest, begin with a radio module and work backwards.

A 433 MHz ASK UHF radio module (various vendors) can possibly get you around 10 kilobits per second, so as long as your video frames can fit into 10 kilobits you will be able to do it. But 10 kilobits isn't much of a picture.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you reaaallly James Cameron.... lol Thanks for the solid answer \$\endgroup\$ – Anthony Russell Oct 23 '13 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I really am. There are many of us. I'm not the one that directs movies. I'm the one with One Laptop per Child. \$\endgroup\$ – James Cameron Oct 23 '13 at 20:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well then your opinion on this matter is well respected. However, if you give me movie suggestions I will disregard them as if they were discarded blobs of gum on the sidewalk. \$\endgroup\$ – Anthony Russell Oct 23 '13 at 20:58

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