The Balloon team has launched and recovered over 40 high altitude balloons to as high as 120,000 feet with thermal controls, satellite communication, and scientific payloads. They have launched a balloon halfway across the continental United States and are currently working on a full cross-country launch and possibly circumnavigation by the end of 2016.
One ongoing project within the Balloons Team is HABHIVE, a modular payload designed to facilitate the launching of a new projects with minimized mechanical production prior to launches.
Another ongoing project is the development of a highly flexible, feature-rich PCB for standard profile high altitude balloon flights.
The Balloons team launches scientific and experimental payloads into near-space using latex weather balloons. During standard flights, balloons ascend to up to 120,000 feet and travel over 200 miles for a duration of 2-5 hours.
The Balloons Team is continually gathering interesting data from our launches. Some areas of interest have included UV dispersion and air quality. The team plans to continue to launch increasingly advanced research payloads, especially on the long duration flights that ValBal makes possible.
ValBal, short for "Valve-Ballast,” utilizes a gas venting valve and a ballast dispenser to stabilize altitude. This stability allows for long duration flights. Most recently, Mk. 5.1 of Valbal flew for a distance of over 3,500 miles, spanning the entire North American continent, for a record-breaking 70 hours. Read more
Join in! The team hosts workshops and onboarding projects that allow new members to gain valuable hands-on experience with mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. Interested in tracking our flights as they happen? Visit our High Altitude Balloon Mission Control (HABMC)