Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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MBuRST team places second in design for global challenge

Posted: June 25, 2014

MBuRST team places second in design for global challenge

The Michigan Balloon Recovery and Satellite Testbed (MBuRST) team earned second place in the category of Best Design in the 2014 Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC).

The challenge was an international education outreach project that encouraged people from around the world to build and launch their own high altitude balloons. Over a single weekend, teams from all over the world launched balloons to the edge of space, recovered them, and shared the photos and data that they collected.

Several AOSS students are on the MBuRST team and Professor Aaron Ridley is the team’s principal investigator.

According to the GSBC website, MBuRST created a custom tracker that transmits live telemetry and tracking data while airborne and sends messages to their Twitter account when the payload has landed. Furthermore, their tracker received commands through HAM radios on the ground to release ballast for future zero pressure balloon flights and to cut the payload from the balloon. This completed their inter payload communication network. These decisions were made in real-time in mobile and fixed ground stations after live analysis of their flight path and each newly predicted landing site. Additionally, they released two balloons at the same time to capture photography and videography as they traveled over Michigan at sunset.

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