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.

Put your yodelin' hat on and let's get started!

Parts

Adafruit CLUE - nRF52840 Express with Bluetooth LE

PRODUCT ID: 4500
Do you feel like you just don't have a CLUE? Well, we can help with that - get a CLUE here at Adafruit by picking up this sensor-packed development board. We wanted to build some...
$39.95
IN STOCK

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 350mAh

PRODUCT ID: 2750
Lithium ion polymer (also known as 'lipo' or 'lipoly') batteries are thin, light and powerful. The output ranges from 4.2V when completely charged to 3.7V. This battery...
$6.95
IN STOCK

USB cable - USB A to Micro-B

PRODUCT ID: 592
This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
$2.95
IN STOCK
This guide was first published on Jul 28, 2020. It was last updated on 2020-07-28 14:48:32 -0400.
This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 02, 2020.