High Altitude Ballooning

High-Altitude Balloons (HABs) are filled with helium or hydrogen and provide a cheap way of carrying payloads (ranging from thermometers to Austrian skydivers Google executives) up to the edge of space. To join the HAB project or to get more information, email icseds@imperial.ac.uk, or turn up to one of our sessions which are held every Thursday. Check the calendar for more details.

High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) – £25

October – March
High-Altitude Balloons (HABs) are filled with helium or hydrogen and provide a cheap way of carrying payloads (ranging from thermometers to Austrian skydivers) up to the upper atmosphere.

We’ll teach you about High Altitude Balloons and you’ll work in a team of 4-6 people to design a balloon that will carry a scientific payload up to the edge of space.

A mission like this is no easy undertaking and there’s lots of planning to be done. You must decide on the specification and requirements of your balloon and its payload, choose and assemble your components, and then conduct testing to ensure they survive in the harsh environment of the upper atmosphere.

If everything goes successfully, then you’ll have photos, videos, and data that will have been taken from space.

HAB sessions are held on Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm. Make sure you’re on the HAB mailing list to get details of the location each week. You can buy your HAB ticket on the Union website.

Launches – ~£10 each

Most of our launches are held at the East Anglican Rocketry Society (EARS) launch site near Cambridge. They will happen on Sunday 2nd November, 7th December, 1st March, 5th April, or 3rd May depending on the weather and the readiness of our rockets.

HAB 2012-13

In 2012/13 ICSEDS had a space race with two teams competing to produce low-cost HABs that would take photos of the Earth from space. Both teams launched successfully, but problems with our ground station meant that neither balloon was recovered. We’ve now invested in a much better ground station to prevent such a disaster from happening again!

The helium for our balloons was kindly provided by the Imperial College Chemical Engineering Department. Chemical Engineering Department