High-altitude balloon experiment platform

The science and engineering team at the ANU's Advanced Instrumentation & Technology Centre (AITC) on Mount Stromlo has an ongoing programme of high-altitude balloon (HAB) missions for the purpose of conducting experiments in near-space conditions. These large helium-filled balloons are released from Mount Stromlo with payloads attached, rising above 99.9% of Earth's atmosphere to an altitude of around 30 km. The balloons then burst and the payload returns to Earth via parachute for recovery by the project team.

Various technical projects are available to improve the AITC's reusable balloon platform and increase its reliability in the field. A range of project timescales are available to suit a variety of student levels. One example is our desire to implement a remote cutdown system for early termination of flights via a radio signal from the ground. Students generally get to participate in balloon launches and test their work on a real flight.

Students with software and/or electronics experience would make good candidates for these projects. Most of our existing flight hardware is based on low-cost platforms such as Raspberry Pi computers and Arduino microcontrollers, although student are free to explore other options.

For more information or to ask any questions, students are encouraged to email the project supervisor directly.