The student-led Atmospheric and Experimental Student-Initiated Research (AESIR) high-altitude balloon program routinely launches helium-filled latex balloons into the stratosphere. The program focuses on integrating the engineering design process into the K-12 curriculum, reinforcing graduate students' experiential and mission-based learning, and fortifying teamwork and communication skills. Some research has included, but not limited to: planetary science, astronomy, remote sensing, GIS, biology, and engineering experiments.
NDSGC supports new ideas, procedures, and experiments for balloon launches, so please contact the NDSGC Coordinator with questions or suggestions.
How to Get Involved
Every semester, NDSGC releases a call for applications for two ballooning Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs). Requirements for this position can be found here. The AESIR team revolves around student operations, volunteering, and management. If you are interested in joining the high-altitude balloon team, please contact Marissa Saad.
GRA Position Annual Due Dates:
- Spring Semester: December 15
- Fall Semester: May 15
Current Team Members
Please download and read the following documents before conducting any high-altitude ballooning operations. Our top priority is to maintain safe operations, which is obtainable through your sustained teamwork and communication. All participants must read the following documents:
- FAR 101 - Federal rules and regulations for high-altitude balloon operations
- Ballooning Regulations - Must be signed to participate in operations
- NASA Media Release Form - Sign if you are comfortable being in photos and videos
Mandatory Forms for GRA Team Leads
The following forms must be submitted by an AESIR Graduate Research Assistant. Team members interested in a balloon launch should first contact the GRA(s). All forms must be submitted to Marissa Saad:
- Flight Request - Must be submitted and approved 5 business days before conducting a launch
- Flight Report - Must be submitted no later than one week after a flight (aborted or conducted)
The AESIR Ballooning Team meets weekly for group meetings, every Wednesday 12:30-1:30pm in the Space Studies Department. Past meeting minutes are below. Team members should review the action items found in these minutes.