The spring of 2012 was dedicated to the design and build of a high altitude project that would be more simple and reliable than Horizon or Explorer. The project, called SkyView, implemented both major and minor changes to optimize high altitude flight, tracking, and image capture.
The craft was designed to travel to an altitude of 50,000 ft. and record its ascent and descent, featuring two high-definition GoPro cameras , one pointing horizontally and other pointing down. Updated web and ground tracking systems, custom antennas, and updated
communication protocols improve reliability over the Horizon and Explorer projects and increase ease of retrieval. Like Explorer, SkyView features an Kevlar-reinforced foam unibody structure with a stylish look, and custom YUAA-designed release circuit board.
Testing of Horizon Skyview began at the end of the spring 2012 semester and has continued into the next semester. Once the individual systems were cleared, the project was launched on October 24th, 2012. All on-board systems operated nominally, however the weather was against us. Once reaching a significant altitude, the craft took a southward turn from its westward direction We attempted to use our emergency release mechanism but it was too late. SkyView eventually splashed down by Fisher’s Island in the Long Island Sound, making its recovery impossible.
We regret the loss of the craft and the flight footage, but nobody can take from us the memories and teamwork experience we got from building and flying SkyView.
The full mission report can be found here: SkyView report