- Our guests this week are Sasha Maldonado and Paige Brown of the Stanford Student Space Initiative.
- Sasha Maldonado
- Stanford junior majoring in Electrical Engineering.
- Now retired avionics lead on the ValBal project, and has been with the project since its inception.
- Co-presidents of the Student Space Initiative, also known as SSI, , and is working on electronics for an SSI-built satellite payload.
- Paige Brown
- Stanford freshman majoring in Chemical Engineering
- The mechanical engineering lead on the ValBal project, and also helps manage flight control logistics.
- Outside of SSI, she works in an environmental engineering lab on phosphate pollution remediation in storm water through chemical absorption.
- A novel, low cost high-altitude balloon system that achieves multi-day flight using inexpensive latex balloons by automatically venting lifting gas and dispensing ballast to maintain altitude.
- Latex balloons typically cost little more than a hundred dollars, but in normal use fly for only a couple hours, rising until reduced atmospheric pressure causes the balloon to stretch beyond its limits.
- The system, known as ValBal, can fly multi-kilogram payloads for multiple days for approximately $1000, offering a 10-100x improvement in cost and superior altitude control when compared with other scientific balloon systems.
- Project has been featured on Hack-a-day for the longest flight duration of a latex balloon.
- Worthwhile Links
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!