Status Report

Testing a Prototype 1U CubeSat on a Stratospheric Balloon Flight

By SpaceRef Editor
February 9, 2021
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Akaash Srikanth, Bharat Chandra, Binukumar G Nair, Nirmal K, Margarita Safonova, Shanti Prabha, Rekhesh Mohan, Jayant Murthy, Rajini G.K

High-altitude balloon experiments are becoming very popular among universities and research institutes as they can be used for testing instruments eventually intended for space, and for simple astronomical observations of Solar System objects like the Moon, comets, and asteroids, difficult to observe from the ground due to atmosphere. Further, they are one of the best platforms for atmospheric studies. In this experiment, we build a simple 1U CubeSat and, by flying it on a high-altitude balloon to an altitude of about 30 km, where the total payload weighted 4.9 kg and examine how some parameters, such as magnetic field, humidity, temperature or pressure, vary as a function of altitude. We also calibrate the magnetometer to remove the hard iron and soft iron errors. Such experiments and studies through a stratospheric balloon flights can also be used to study the performance of easily available commercial sensors in extreme conditions as well. We present the results of the first flight, which helped us study the functionality of the various sensors and electronics at low temperatures reaching about -40 degrees Celsius. Further the motion of the payload has been tracked throughout this flight. This experiment took place on 8 March 2020 from the CREST campus of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. Using the results from this flight, we identify and rectify the errors to obtain better results from the subsequent flights.

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (; Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)

Cite as: arXiv:2102.04847 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2102.04847v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Akaash Srikanth 

[v1] Tue, 9 Feb 2021 14:43:23 UTC (15,644 KB)

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