Knowing one’s altitude, height above sea level, is useful for many applications. Airplane pilots use it so they don’t run into the ground or each other. Hikers and mountain climbers use it to know where they are and how far to the summit. Etc.
There are various ways to determine altitude. Pressure based altitude computation is a common method and Adafruit sells numerous pressure sensors that can report an altitude. But to get an accurate value for altitude from pressure, there are a few important details to consider. In this guide we will go over the specifics of how pressure is used to compute altitude and learn about those important details.
To help illustrate things in a real world application, we will use an Adafruit CLUE board and CircuitPython to create a simple little altimeter and take it into the mountains.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.