Counting People Travelling in a Balloon

Counting “Hot Air” Balloon Passengers

Some months back we had an enquiry from an unusual source – a “hot air” balloon manufacturer. They wanted to automatically count the people who were taken up in the balloon.

This wasn’t a hot air balloon that travels across the countryside. It wasn’t even filled with hot air. Helium provides the lift and the balloon is tethered to the ground. It transports 30 passengers 150 m up into the air where they can enjoy wide-reaching views.

We invited the company to our premises in Manchester to see the Retail Sensing people counting system for themselves. They were impressed by what they saw, and we in turn visited their company to look at the best way to install the equipment.

The reason for counting balloon passengers was to compare the number of tickets issued with the number of people who actually got on. The normal ride is 15 minutes and the typical passenger throughput is 100 per hour. Hence, on a good day over 1000 passengers can ascend.

We installed a Retail Sensing system on the balloon’s walk-in grantry. A camera detects people getting on and off, and an intelligent counting unit regularly sends data wirelessly to a laptop. The time of each batch of counts is recorded and counts are verified simply by watching the video.

For more information contact Asad Syed.

Photo copyright Derek Harper, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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