GPS device brand tests its latest product by sending it into the stratosphere

Spanish navigation brand TwoNav has put its newest product to the test by sending it 27km up into the air. 

TwoNav, based in Barcelona, teamed up with non-profit organisation GoStem to put the new GPS Trail 2 Plus device through its paces, sending the it 27km up into the air using a balloon filled with helium. 

The stunt, dubbed Project Stratosphere, was designed as part of GoStem’s drive to get more young people engaging with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) careers.  

GoStem students help plan and execute the construction of the stratospheric probe, using procedures developed by NASA. 

TwoNav said: “At TwoNav we like to engage in projects that share and promote our ideals, and investigating new technologies is one of them. The project involved creating a stratospheric probe following the engineering procedures developed by NASA and applying concepts that are closely related to the design of a GPS device: technology, mathematics, physics, design and communication. 

“We could not miss the opportunity to put our new GPS Trail 2 Plus to the test, while at the same time supporting future engineers, the true protagonists of this challenge.” 

The probe, which consisted of the balloon, a capsule with a video camera, the GPS device, and a parachute, was sent up high into the atmosphere, where temperatures drop as low as -56 degrees. 

Once the probe hit the desired altitude, the balloon was designed to explode, before the device parachuted gently back to the ground. 

TwoNav said the device returned to earth in full working order, and that the battery even lasted the entire three-hour flight, despite the fact that extremely low temperatures accelerate battery depletion. 

The team then tracked down the device and were able to recover it. The device also survived the high 40-degree air temperature at the landing site. 

TwoNav’s latest device the Trail 2 Plus, officially launched at Eurobike in Frankfurt earlier this year, is a multi-discipline GPS device, designed for hiking, mountain biking, gravel riding, and motorbike rides. 

Read more: ArmaUrto launches its first MTB-specific product, the Arma Hex Knee Protector 

It features detailed mapping and navigation routing technology, configurable direction alerts, along with 5G connectivity and a claimed 20-hour battery life. The device retails for £306.85. 

Alex Ballinger

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