STM32 in the Sky

Flying high!


The STM32 family of microcontrollers is 12 years old! To celebrate this anniversary, ST organized a high-altitude balloon contest with four engineering schools. The event took place on June 11th, which is the date the product family was launched over a decade ago.



This challenge was organized by ST’s Microcontroller Division to strengthen ST’s educational and community programs while showcasing STM32 MCUs and LoRa-based solutions. Our partners, the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) as well as professionals and volunteers from Planète Sciences guaranteed the safety of the event and ensured that all balloons were authorized to take off.  

Balloon tracking using LoRa and GPS systems

The STM32 microcontrollers captured data from the balloons' sensors and GPS before using the RF module to send them to a LoRa gateway on the ground, thus allowing contestants to track their balloon and identify their location in order to recover them.

This scientific experiment was an opportunity for students to showcase the STM32 in near space (using the HD camera embedded in the balloons) and share their results with their communities.

Contest results - we have a winner !

After the jury's careful evaluation of each team's work and project management before and during the event, we are very pleased to announce the winner of this high-altitude balloon competition together with Planètes Sciences and the CNES.

Contest winner: congratulations to the ISEN Toulon team !

Second place: Polytech Marseille

Third place (it’s a tie!): Ecole Centrale Marseille & Polytech Nice

  • 3 out of 4 balloons were recover near Gap, France
  • Highest altitude reached: 31 000 m (101706.04 feet)
  • Maximum distance: 175 km (108.74 miles)
  • The balloons were detected by 70 The Things Network (TTN) gateways in 7 countries: France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Austria and Germany

What’s next?

The winner team from ISEN Toulon will present their project and results at Embedded World 2020 in February 25-27 in Nuremberg, Germany.
Find them at our ST booth !


Our partners

Centre national d’études spatiales

Founded in 1961, the CNES is the governmental agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s space policy in Europe.

Planète Sciences

Planète Sciences is a non-profit association which was created in 1962. It aims at sparking 7 to 25-year olds’ interest in science and technology by putting theory into practice and helping teachers, facilitators, educators, researchers and parents in their activities with young people.

Golf Club Sainte-Victoire

The Sainte-Victoire Golf Club located in Fuveau (France) was inaugurated in 1986. This Golf Course was at the core of many innovative projects involving talented architects, artists and naturalists.

Sainte-Victoire International School

Nestled in the heart of an international 18-hole golf course facing the Sainte Victoire mountain, the school offers a healthy and peaceful study environment.

The Things Network

The Things Network provides industrial-grade LoRaWAN solutions for developers all over the world. Things Network offers a robust yet flexible technology and an enterprise-ready LoRaWAN network server stack. 


TagoIO offers an end-to-end cloud platform that transforms the way businesses create value from connected products to user interactions with the Internet of Things. Check out the STM32 in the Sky dashboard to find all the technical information related to the event informations.

Pôle SCS

The Pôle SCS brings together an ecosystem of more than 320 industrial players, major groups, SMEs, start-ups, research laboratories and universities which are all leaders in their fields.


Because pictures are worth a thousand words


Check out the pictures of the event on our STM32 Facebook page



Project presentation Blog article Teaser video