I'm looking for advice on a few things, it's a long story so I'll start at the beginning: The Engineering Club at my college wants to launch a high-altitude (AKA weather, sounding) balloon with a payload of cameras, etc. to go up to hopefully ~100,000 ft. and take some video. A lot of people have done this, so we wanted to try something a bit different. Usually it's done just with a sealed foam box attached to a parachute, with the top of the parachute attached to a line running to the balloon. When the balloon bursts from the inevitable air pressure change, the round parachute carries the payload to the ground - to god knows where. Lately people put a GPS device with radio of some sort - ie, cell phone - to make retrieval easier. But if the payload ends up landing in an inconvenient place, such as a large body of water, the top of a tree, or if the parachute fails - you've lost your stuff. Often the payloads do get lost, so people tend to send up cheap cameras and accept the risk.
Since we're both on a budget and want to do something different, we'd like to have a second parachute open at somewhere under 40,000 ft. - a ram-air parachute, with a controller and servos inside the payload able to guide it towards GPS coordinates. Since some payloads end up in the ocean, etc., any distance closer to a decided location would be helpful. The guided parachute could potentially be a powered paraglider, if adding a prop doesn't complicate things too much.
We're also planning on building a quadrotor which can be used, among other things, to test the parachute / powered paraglider. I have those plans pretty much laid out but if you have some suggestions, links I could use them.
Any advice about the UAV paraglider + balloon would be appreciated, thanks