About Balloon Live

The app

The application is the official FAI Balloon Live competition logger app.

The app is used in hot air balloon competition and has the following features:

  • 2 app modes: training and competition
  • Flight recording with Start/Stop functionality
  • up to 8 different electronic marker drops
  • up to 8 goal declaration slots
  • recording in IGC-file format
  • export as IGC-file
  • Automatic flight resume on app restart (after force close)
  • Background mode when flight is started
  • Connection to external GPS box (available later)

In competition mode:

  • Synchronisation of competition settings and flight data from watchmefly.net
  • Live tracks to watchmefly.net


iOS Screenshots

Android screenshots


Watchmefly.net

Watchmefly.net is the main Balloon Live website for managing competitions and tracks. All recorded tracks in the Balloon Live app are stored on watchmefly.net. With this, watchmefly.net can offer:

Pilot dashboard

Login as a pilot and have an overview of your past and upcoming competitions. Find your personal token/code to register your Balloon Live app to a competition and download all your recorded tracks directly on your personal profile page.

Competition management

Competition officials can manage competition details, pilot list, flight and task settings, official noticeboard, measuring reports and download all recorded tracks immediately after landing.

Watchmefly.net has a lot more to offer.

For pilots:

  • Create pilot account with your own profile
  • View competition flight and task information
  • Manage your own flights and logger tracks
  • Upload and share your flight details

For competition officials:

  • Show your event in the calendar of all events
  • Publish your information and documents on an electronic noticeboard
  • Publish a pilot list with link to their personal profile
  • Create flights and tasks
  • Manage the configuration of the Balloon Live app
  • Use the online measuring report to publish results in realtime
  • Manage measuring officials access
  • Give scorers access to download the tracks

Feature tour

Watch a demonstration of all the new features that have been released on WatchMeFly, including Competitions, the Competition Center, the Measure Tool and the FAI Balloon Live app.


Balloon Live Sensor

The Balloon Live Sensor (BLS) was developed in 2019 and 2020. The sensor closes the gap of the Balloon Live App running on many different phones and the need for precise GPS and barometric measurements. This is done using an external sensor that connects to the app. The design is based on a previous Volirium (Flytec Balloon) product named Sensbox, but is now upgraded to the latest state of technology and extended with functions needed for Balloon Live. The whole design (eletronics, firmware and testing infrastructure) was done by Marc André as volunteer work. The production is done by Volirium (Flytec Balloon). This is an exciting next step for Balloon Live!

The sensor uses Bluetooth low energy to connect to the Balloon Live App. It uses a custom protocol that also includes signing of the data. Each device has its own signature key. On request of the pilots we have added an additional classic Bluetooth connection so that multiple devices such as a laptops can connect and get the same data as the Balloon Live App. USB will be available as an alternative interface.

The sensor is powered by an internal LiPo battery which has approximately 20h runtime. The sensor comes with Flytec’s quality altitude and variometer sensing (@8Hz) and a state of the art GPS receiver (@5Hz) that supports all common GNSS standards. The device also stores all tracks on a SD card for backup. The small display shows the status and minimal information.

FAQ

Yes. It has bluetooth connectivity (BLE) to the Balloon Live app (phone or tablet) and a separate bluetooth connectivity (Bluetooth SPP profile with NMEA) to up to 2 devices (laptop) to be used for mapping applications. All these connections can be used at the same time.

No. Unlike with the previous FAI Balloon loggers, FAI Ballooning Commission will not create a pool of devices that can be rented by event organisers. In upcoming events using Balloon Live, the pilot will be required to bring his own Balloon Live Sensor to make sure the quality of the position recorded for scoring is the same for all pilots.

The event organisers usually decide what logger system they want to use. 2020 has shown that many event organisers are interested in using the Balloon Live app with the Balloon Live sensor in the future as this is meant to replace the FAI Logger used so far. Among these are organisers of regional and national championships as well as larger events. There is no decision made on the next Europeans and Worlds yet, but as soon as we know, we will post the information here.

Yes. We are happy to find a solution to ship multiple devices together. Make sure you order quickly so we can arrange something early enough. Please mention it in the comment field of the order form.

The recorded track is stored in up to 3 locations:

  • The Balloon Live app stores a recorded track and it can be shared as IGC file through the normal sharing possibilities on the device.
  • The Balloon Live Sensor additionally stores the track in IGC format on its SD card.
  • If you use Watchmefly.net for the competition, the track is also transferred to watchmefly.net once the phone/tablet is online.