Hi, my name is Ethan Perrin and I'm 14 years old, extremely interested in all fields of electronics, mechanical engineering, photography, anything that I can do with my hands. I'm a hardware guy, software is yet to be mastered.
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Space: the final frontier. Once the exclusive domain of groups like NASA and Roscosmos, space is now being explored by tinkerers at home. Sure, they're not building space ships and orbiting the moon, but they're going as high as 120,000 feet. It may technically be "near space", but it is high enough to take pictures and get that fantastic black sky and curved earth that is so iconic. People are building these high altitude balloons in a multitude of different ways, from strapping smart phones to a giant balloon to creating a sensor filled box with all kinds of telemetry as the payload. The goal remains the same, though: get that balloon as high as possible. Creating a high altitude balloon requires a balance of weight and function that isn't the easiest thing to do. If you've built one and successfully launched it, we commend you and offer this badge.
A Special Note from Ladyada & the Adafruit Team
When Ethan got a camera for his 13th birthday, he couldn't help but imagine all the cool pictures he could take. He used a weather balloon to carry a payload containing his auto-snapping camera (modded with CHDK) into near space, then recovered it 90 miles away several hours later. Not only did Ethan build an impressive project that took some awesome photos, he gave a TEDx talk to share the project and inspire others. Ethan is a shining star maker whose curiosity inspires us big time. Keep up the great work, Ethan!
Project Images & Videos
What is LENSE? To begin, it stands for Low Expense Near Space Experiment. By near space, I mean 100,000 feet, and by low expense I mean less than $1000. LENSE is my stint in High Altitude Ballooning, the hobby of using weather balloons to tow boxes of electronics to the upper atmosphere for the purpose of photography or scientific study. I got interested in this field when I got my first camera in December 2010. After taking tons of photos and becoming somewhat proficient with my camera (and my dad’s Nikon D3100) I wanted to experiment with different fields of photography. I started with panoramas of mountains, then downsized to capturing Lincoln’s nose on the back of the US penny. As with my cycle of big and small projects, I decided to once again try to take big pictures. I looked into taking pictures from the tops of buildings, then remote control airplanes, then kites, and eventually I stumbled on using balloons to capture the holy grail of aerial imaging: the Earth itself! I was hooked and researched every available source to get a sense of scale for this project that would soon consume my free time for the following 8 months.TEDxRedmond - Ethan Perrin - A million dollar picture…
With an innate curiosity about how things work and an ingenuity to tinker and build, Ethan is a self-learner at heart who spends a lot of his free time at his dad's electronics table, at a woodworking bench, or researching the possibilities in the world of science. Most recently, an interest in photography led him to explore the boundaries of what can be captured by a lens. First, he rigged his point and shoot camera with a lens to shoot macro images, and then, most recently, set his sights to the sky and became intrigued with capturing images from very high altitudes, and creating the vehicle to make it all happen. Ethan is an 8th grader at Redmond Junior High in Redmond, WA.
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