High Altitude Balloon

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Project Goals

  • Launch balloon between April 10th and April 27th, 2015
  • Send a balloon with some sort of electronic equipment into the sky and try to retrieve it*.
  • Reach near space.
  • Take some really cool pictures.
  • Do a little science while we're up there.

* (Mostly) intact

Project Requirements

  • FAA Ballooning Regulations For exemption from Subpart D, the following criteria should be met:
    • 4lbs or less payload weight.
    • Weight/size payload ratio of less than 3oz/in on any surface of the package, determined by dividing the total weight in ounces of the payload package by the area in square inches of its smallest surface.
    • Balloons that use a rope or other device for suspension of the payload that requires an impact force of fifty pounds or less to separate the suspended payload from the balloon.
  • Global Space Balloon Challenge
    • Payload must contain a camera
    • Payload must carry a GPS to allow safe tracking and recovery of payload.
    • Must follow local regulations. See FAA regulations link above.
    • Must fly between April 10th and April 27nd.
    • Payload cannot contain vertebrates.

To Do

Subsystem Status

Task Assigned To Subsystem ETC
Radio/Arduino Interface Hardware Zach/Dan/Ryan Tracking 2015-04-09
Vial Piercing Mechanism David Science 2015-04-10
Lighten Camera Power Supply Camera 2015-04-10
Design Gas Fill System Flight 2015-04-10
Get Lighter Rope, Determine Knots Chassis 2015-04-10
Get 5V from Battery for Tracking Tracking 2015-04-10
Payload stabilization Miscellaneous Cancelled

Payload Details

Project Cost Details







  • Altitude & GPS logger
  • Telemetry TX/RX

Science Experiment


Obtain samples of air from different altitudes and check for signs of organic life. Vial Piercing Mechanism will be utilized at specified altitude to obtain sample.

Persons of Interest

  • Matthew - I'll try to facilitate things as best I can to move us towards our goal.
  • Zach - I like space (and near-space) and I have done this once before. Also, ham license.
  • Ryan - APRS for telemetry. Also, ham license.
  • David - Science experiment. Also, ham license.
  • Do you want to be a PoI on this project? Go ahead and add yourself and what your role will be!

Useful Links

Project Log

This section is for weekly updates from our meetings.

23-03-2015: This week we tested the insulating properties of the styrofoam cooler that will act as the main payload structer. Testing was conducted using a larger sized cooler containing dry ice. A temperature probe as placed inside the inner cooler. Temperature measurements were taken ever 60 seconds and recorded to track the rate of temperature decline. After 30 minutes the testing was concluded. The temperature at test initialization was 16ºC, by test conclusion ended with -7ºC. A second test was conducted with the Canon camera and LiPo battery inside to test the effects of equipment heat on temperature. Again the interior was equalized at 16ºC prior to start. This time the final temperature only reached 2ºC by the end of the 30 minutes. This leads us to believe that with additional equipment and perhaps the addition of a "hothands" hand warmer the interior temperature should remain more than adequete for our flight duration. Currently have obtained 600g balloons, parachute, backup gps, and APRS module. Still awaiting primary gps reciever, science module components, and Hydrogen.

13-04-2015: As of this week's HAB meeting we have completed the GPS/APRS transmitter module as well as the science module. Decisions were made about the hydrogen fill nozzle and regulator. Key issues left to resolve include packaging and securing the payload to the parachute and balloon.