In the spring semester, COSGC students are challenged to explore how balloon payloads are designed in the Colorado program.  There are two challenges to choose from: (click on the challenge to access the official Challenge rules)

1) Making High Altitude Balloon Payloads Sustainable: Replace subsystems of the current payload design with more earth friendly approaches; OR

2) How Low Can You Go: Create a lightweight payload that flies required electronics and sensors and include a research project.


Three payloads/teams were honored as Spring 2018 winners of these Challenges as follows:

Combined 1 and 2) Lightest weight payload focusing on sustainable approach to balloon payloads: 246g

ACC DemoSat.jpg
 Stop Being Such a Ham – Arapahoe Community College: 
Braedon Bellamy, Aaliya Bernal, Chance Bowers, Jack Dryden, Henry Jenkins, Bailee Jones, Jordan McDuffie, Chhun Ouch, James Vogenthal

Used cork as primary structure material, strengthened by using balsa wood on the outside.  Both structure 

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 8.31.17 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 8.31.28 AM.png

materials are VERY light and environmentally friendly. 

In addition to the required electronics and sensors, the team designed a system that used Ham radio frequencies to send and receive live telemetry through the flight.  Were able to communicate to 2200 meters (7217 ft).


1) Most recycled/use of recyclable material: Trinidad State Junior College
                                               Noelle Gallegos & Mya JimenezTSJC Recovery.jpg

Insulation TSJC.jpg

Used recycled foam core as structure material.  Discovered company that recycles foam core and sells the recycled material. (price not reasonable for student payloads)

Used recycled paper for prototyping payload structure to ensure appropriate size and shape.

TSJC Science.jpg

Used non-toxic glue (packaged in recyclabe container) as adhesive

Developed a process to use starch packing “peanuts” as insulation on all structure walls.  Proved that material maintained heat during flight and was not adversely effected by extreme environment at the edge of space.

Included biological samples in the payload in addition to the required electronics and sensors. Samples were successfully retrieved and analyzed post-flight. 


2) Lowest weight payload: 150g Team Phoenix – Pikes Peak Community College
                                                      Alondra Hauser, Nathan Leusink, Robert Clayton, Ryan Klimek IMG_3597 1.jpg
Flew the required electronics and sensors. Focused research project on determining best shape and lowest mass material to use for payload.