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.

The main business of the High-Altitude Balloon (HAB) project is to send up payloads up to 30km altitude on helium filled balloons, track them and pick it up when the balloon bursts and descends to the ground. We design the electronics required to survive the harsh conditions of these altitudes. There are no prerequisites, but we value knowledge in electronics as the payload is tracked using radio. In April we successfully launched and recovered our payload, a 360° camera and have footage from that flight. We intend to launch a gimbal stabilised camera in early November.
We are open to ideas for launching other payloads such as astrophotography equipment and possibly multi-day long endurance balloon flights with very light payloads.
We meet on Wednesday afternoons in the EEE building. The project leader is Medad Newman (medad.newman17@imperial.ac.uk) from the Dyson School of Design Engineering.

HAB sessions are held on Wednesday Afternoon from 6pm – 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 the 1st Sunday of a month, depending on the weather and the readiness of our balloon.

HAB 2018/19

HAB kicked off the year with an early launch in November, with an altitude of 28.5 km but an unfortunate loss of the payload.

Read the Felix article here!

View launch footage here!

HAB 2017/18

On the 21st April 2018, HAB launched the payload they’d been hard at work on all year to great success, aquiring some truly amazing 360° footage from an altitude of 30km!

Read the Felix article here!

View some of the footage here– click and drag the video to look around!

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