Project at the Colorado Space Grant Consortium
November 2012 - December 2013
The HELIOS II project was a part of the High Altitude Student Platform run by the Louisiana Space Consortium. HASP carries student payload experiments to an altitude of around 36km using a small volume, zero pressure balloon. HASP flies from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
HELIOS II Mission
HELIOS II was designed to track the sun and photograph it in the Hydrogen-alpha wavelength. The Hα wavelength was used so sunspots in our photographs could be easily identified. HELIOS II, the second payload in a multi-year mission was a proof-of-concept that solar observation could be achieved at low-cost onboard a high-altitude balloon, relative to the cost of a satellite or ground observatory.
As the Team Lead for the Structures and Thermal sub-system, I worked with the Electrical and Optics sub-system teams to design a structure that protected our components. I took into account the cold temperatures in the upper-atmosphere, the forces of launch and descent, and the heat generated by the electronics. I designed the payload structure and the mechanism for rotating the tracking system, sourced materials, manufactured components, and tested the tracking system.