A UK based start up company – Segoz, part of the Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft (ASTRA) group decided to send a Windows Phone 7 device into the Stratosphere to gather data useful for research.
A custom application on the phone gathered location data using GPS and using GSM network transmitted this to Windows Azure. The setup allowed scientists to predict trajectories for different pay loads and helium gas in the balloon. An excerpt from the project’s description page explains the project:
The Windows Azure workers are used to calculate predicted landing sites, based on factors such as payload weight and atmospheric conditions, for various helium quantities. Once a landing site has been chosen and the flight commenced, the Azure workers update the predicted trajectory based on updated location information received from a Windows Phone 7 device within the payload. The latest predicted landing sites are automatically sent out to the balloon followers.
The device was sent as high as a Concorde flight, which according to Wikipedia is 60,039 ft and survived the atmospheric conditions. Based on the image, the device is either the HTC Mozart or the Trophy. Here’s a video on the experiment: