EE in the news

EE freshmen successfully launch instrumentation to 49,000 feet

Students taking Electrical Engineering 189, a project based course, during the Fall 2017 semester were successful in launching a payload using a balloon up to 49,000 feet.

The balloon launch on December 11, 2017

In the course students were exposed to the basics of electrical circuits, microcontroller programming, communications, and space. The students worked in teams to develop the instrumentation needed to measure temperature, pressure, position as well as including a camera to take videos at fixed intervals. The payload was also equipped with an transmitter that utilized the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) used by ham radio operators. Through out the course the students worked on the logistics of flying a balloon. They have researched the proper parts to purchase and FAA regulations. Students also determined the target altitude and used software to predict which days would be optimal for the launch. The launch was very successful and the students went on a chase adventure to recover the balloon. Several of the ham radio operators in Socorro were tracking the balloon in real time and communicating with chase vehicle to guide them to its location. The payload was intact when it was recovered and we were able to obtain beautiful video of the balloon during its flight.

The course was taught by Drs. Aly El-Osery, Anders Jorgnesen and Kevin Wedeward. Also, Dr. Ken Each from Physics department has volunteered some of his time to share has experiences flying weather balloons which was very valuable to the students and guided them through the logistics of the launch.

To learn more about the project, including photos and movies of the event, click here.