Transcending human limits was the purpose of the historic October 14, 2012 stratosphere jump which broke the speed of sound and made Google’s top 10 list of trending news stories for the year. Sponsored by Red Bull Stratos and performed by Austrian pilot Felix Baumgartner, the “ultimate sky- dive” from 128,100 feet continues to hold the potential to provide valuable scientific research data for future pioneers.

One of the products that resulted from the operation is a one-of-a-kind chest pack which was used to monitor, track and communicate with Mission Control.  Similar to a flight data recorder, the pack, which is the size of a mail box and was designed to fit over Baumgartner’s pressurized suit, contained the following devices:

  • A voice transmitter and receiver that connected to the helmet
  • An HD camera with a 120-degree view
  • GPS signals for flight tracking
  • An inertia measurement unit (IMU) for reporting altitude as well as flight positions
  • Telemetry tools for data capture
  • A device used by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale to confirm and authenticate record achievements
  • A ring tone that sounded once the speed of sound had been broken

The technology transfer to research projects and products such as the chest pack, are only the beginning.  There is no telling what the future holds.





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