Project X

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Project X is a 2015-2016 Balloons team project targeted towards the creation, development, and refinement of sensor payloads for high-altitude balloons. The current focus of Project X is the collection of data regarding atmospheric quality and composition.

The current team lead is Sruti Arulmani

Other team members include Nicholas Kuntz, Armin Namavari, and Callie Van Winkle.


Project X Sensors

Project X has had success testing and incorporating the following sensors (pictured at left) into HAB payloads in conjunction with an Arduino Uno unit:

  • Carbon Dioxide Sensor (SainSmart MG-811)
  • Ozone Sensor (SainSmart MQ-131)
  • Methane Sensor (GikFun MQ-4)
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensor (GikFun MQ-7)
  • Hydrogen Sensor (GikFun MQ-8)
  • Hazardous Gas Sensor (GikFun MQ-135)

Project X is also in possession of the following sensors, but has yet to test or incorporate them into a HAB payload:

  • LPG and Butane Sensor (GikFun MQ-2)
  • Alcohol and Ethanol Sensor (GikFun MQ-3)
  • Methane Sensor for Arduino Uno Mega2560 (GikFun MQ-5)
  • Isobutane and Propane Sensor (GikFun MQ-6)
  • Combustible Gas Sensor (GikFun MQ-9)


SSI-28 Gas Concentration vs Time
SSI-28 Gas Concentration vs Altitude

Project X launched an experimental payload along with Project UV as part of the SSI-28 launch.

After the payloads from SSI-28 were recovered, it was discovered that the concentrations of airborne compounds that were tested for by Project X's sensors were several orders of magnitude smaller than the concentrations that these sensors were designed to test for. As a result, the sensors returned little useful data.

In order to resolve this issue for the next launch, Project X plans to incorporate operational amplifiers into the sensors' circuitry. These circuit components will amplify the signal output by each sensor, pushing detection into a more readily analyzable order of magnitude.

SSI-29 and SSI-30

Project X is prepared to launch a revised atmospheric analysis payload as part of the SSI-30 launch.

Upcoming Goals

In the upcoming months, Project X hopes to obtain a greater body of information regarding atmospheric quality and composition.

Balloon Launches
2014-15 SSI-19202122
2015-16 SSI-23(a) • 2425262728293031323334353637383940414243
2016-17 444546474849505152
2018-19 8386879091
2019-20 929397