Student Projects and Events

Spring 2019 Capstone Project: High-Altitude Student Platform (HASP) for CubeSat Evaluation

Frostburg State University from the Sky!

Students: Jason Clyde, Brendan Tomasic, Nate Settineri, Davius Dupree, Pedro Marin, David Dominguez, and Yale Eckert

The AMIL campus's 2019 capstone project was the launch of a high-altitude student platform (HASP) into the Earth's upper atmosphere (100,000 ft.+). This balloon vehicle carried a payload in the form of a Cube Satellite (CubeSat), which held various sensors (including GPS, pressure, temperature, etc.) designed to collect data during the balloon's flight, along with a sustainable system to provide power to the payload.

The data collected during the flight was used in two analysis-based experiments, focused on radio wave propagation in different atmospheric conditions and radiation/cosmic rays at different altitudes. The radio wave propagation experiment focused on developing forecast models used to predict the conditions during which radio-frequency signals propagate further than intended. The undesired propagation of these signals beyond typical radio line of sight (RLOS) could be disastrous, especially if the signals contained sensitive information such as government communications.

The ability to better predict these conditions helps support a more secure transfer of information using radio-frequency signals, for both commercial and government purposes, as well as universities conducting long-term wave propagation experiments. The radiation level vs. altitude information can be compared to the Pfotzer radiation curve model, and then used to create more accurate estimates for airline radiation exposure. This information helps ensure that radiation precautions/safety measures have up-to-date models/estimations, and can effectively protect airline pilots and passengers, astronauts and other occupations that function in the upper atmosphere.

This project was also designed with the intent of paving the way for future senior class capstone projects utilizing a HAB to be more focused on experiments and analysis, which would be supported by our HAB/High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) chassis, flight termination unit and telemetry design.

Yal and Davius

high altitude balloon

project group points to the sky


Other Projects and Events

Student working with tech
Working on Animatronic Jack-O-Lanterns in Electronics and Instrumentation
Student working with tech
Dr. Harry Shaw, NASA/GSFC, Special Network Projects Office, works with senior students on their capstone design project
Students present their capstone project at NASA
Students present their capstone project at NASA.
Internship Presentation
Representatives from NASA and Naval Research Lab speak to juniors about internship opportunities