The Stratocaching project - live network video streaming from the stratosphere

Axis camera at 30 kilometers above the Earth

“We are proud that as the first in the Czech Republic, we managed to realize live video streaming from the stratosphere and to introduce the beauty of the Earth and modern technologies to the public.” Petr Bakoš, the project’s Chief Designer and a member of the organizing association Žádná věda.


Czech civil association, Žádná věda, realized the Stratocaching popular science experiment in fall 2013 in cooperation with the server. The project rested in launching a weather balloon with a special basket, from which 12 flying capsules should have been released in the stratosphere. Such capsules imitating the design of a maple samara were equipped with GPS trackers and upon landing, they became the subject of a geo-location game whose purpose was to find them. The project included provision of live streaming from the balloon available at the server. The camera system, including the antenna, had to fulfill high demands: The weight of the whole configuration could not exceed 600 grams and, at the same time, was supposed to be functional even under extreme freezing conditions and at the distance of tens of kilometers.\


Despite the initial doubts regarding digital video streaming, the realization team, in cooperation with NetRex, decided to use an AXIS P1214-E Network Camera, together with a radio modem and a special multi-polarization antenna. This camera model was selected for its minimal weight; however, for its use under extreme freezing conditions in the stratosphere, it was necessary to provide additional heating for the camera’s optical components. A signal from the basket was received by a ground station equipped with a parabolic antenna, and video was then provided to the server via the NetRex streaming platform.


The video streaming configuration placed in the balloon’s basket weighed a mere 586 g. However, it was able to provide fascinating live streaming HD video almost for the whole duration of the flight. At the end, the camera feed was watched by more than 220,000 viewers online, on the server. Thousands of others watched the video recording from the camera’s memory card.

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AXIS P1214-E Network Camera
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