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payload configuration documents

payload_configuration documents describe a payload (no prizes for guessing that). They contain instructions to habitat: how to parse telemetry that listeners upload; and radio settings: how to setup listeners' radios. If you fly one payload multiple times, you shouldn't have to change payload configuration document.

flight documents

flight documents describe the time and date of a planned flight. They allow us to add the flight to the calendar, set the title on the tracker, and select only relevant telemetry to go into the flight archive (i.e., exclude test data).

A flight document contains a list of payload configuration documents - i.e., the payloads that are going to be launched. You can add more than one, if there are several payloads on one balloon/flight train - but for multiple launches, create a flight document per balloon.

Quick start

I've just programmed my brand new payload, and am now testing it.

You only need to create a payload_configuration document using the "new format wizard".

I'm going to launch a balloon soon.

Create a flight document, then ask on IRC for the doc to be approved.

Note that you may also create documents by copying and modifying the last document you created for your payload, so you need not start from scratch each time.

Extra details

payload configuration

The sentence and radio settings in a payload configuration document are ordered lists: the first sentence format that matches successfully is used, and the first item in the radio list is the default.


You can't edit documents once they're saved. You can however load, modify and save a new copy of your configuration document: habitat will use the newest version.

Launch windows

Flight documents are only valid for an amount of time, preferably as small as possible. Parsed strings that don't belong to an active flight document are treated as 'test' uploads, and will only be shown in the testing section of the new tracker.


Since anyone at all can create flight documents, they must be checked before they appear on the various websites. Payload configuration documents referenced by approved and active (within the launch window) flights are given priority when parsing.


Please tell habitat how to convert all of your sensor readings into their relevant SI base or derived unit without a metric prefix (except: use Celsius for temperature; degrees for latitude, longitude, heading; kilograms for mass). For example: Volts for battery readings, Pa (not kPa) for pressure, m/s for speed. You can scale your fields with habitat, your payload need not do the conversion.

Need not be its callsign.
Free form, optional.
Used only to help you find it later.

Radio and telemetry configuration

Parser configuration

Optional; e.g., Primary, alternative, nighttime mode.
Shifts supported by legacy fldigi are: 23, 85, 160, 170, 182, 200, 240, 350, 425, 600 and 850.
Modern versions support any custom shift.
fldigi supports 45, 45.45, 50, 56, 75, 100, 110, 150, 200 and 300 baud

Parse OK; callsign: , checksum:

i.e., number of significant figures to round to
Name or short description of this sentence format.
Optional but strongly recommended.
Some suggestions: Normal, No-lock mode (if it results in a different format), Long (i.e., more fields)
You've chosen "other": this means that when the payload does not have a lock it will send another sentence format that can not be parsed by this specification. This includes sending empty or "!!!.!!!!!" fields.
You should add the 'no-lock' format as another sentence format after you have finished this one, choosing "exclusively this format" when you get to this step.
You've chosen "always invalid": only choose this if the payload will send something matching this specification if and only if it does not have a lock. In particlar, no valid sentence with a lock can match this sentence specification.
Any latitude longitude or altitude, if present, will be marked invalid. Other parsed data, like temperature, can still be used and plotted.
This option must be combined with a second sentence format where you've chosen the 'other' option at this step.
Use of this option is quite rare.
Please click on the field that should be tested above
Comma separated
Iff matches one of these values, the fix is marked as valid.

Optional but strongly recommended; e.g., Normal format, No-lock format (if it's different), Long format (i.e., more fields), and so on.


intermediate filters
post parse filters

e.g., Dalmation launch 32 or Shark Christmas launch.
Optional, but highly recommended.
Or your name, if you're working alone :-(. Optional, also recommended.

Launch time below is interpreted in this timezone; daylight saving detected automatically from the date.
Some clients/trackers may display times related to this flight in this timezone rather than the user's.
This period must cover the entire flight, and ideally exclude testing, so that only telemetry from the flight itself is archived.
The server rejects launch windows longer than one week. Please speak to an admin if you have a special requirement.

Optional. Suggested format: Place name, Area, Country
decimal degrees
decimal degrees
-180 < l <= 180
Optional: only enter it if it's significant.

payloads in this flight