“The high altitude balloon team well… takes us to the sky.”

Jackson Cai

Jackson Cai

Team Lead, High Altitude Ballooning

Getting to know the High Altitude Balloon Team

The BLUEsat UNSW High-Altitude Ballooning project sends student-developed payloads to over 20km in altitude using stratospheric balloons. These payloads include radio telemetry, tracking, data-logging, custom-built enclosures, remote flight-termination, and flight stabilisation systems.

About the High Altitude Balloon Team

Many of these systems are facsimiles of what may be found in a satellite and have to deal with space like conditions.When a payload has been built and thoroughly tested, the team embarks on missions up to Muswellbrook or Merriwa in the Upper Hunter Region of NSW, Australia, where the balloon is launched into near-space to gather data, pictures and video. At the end of the flight, the payload descends by parachute and is recovered.


We are currently working with the University of Pisa to develop a radar system called BALSAR (Balloon Synthetic Aperture Radar).

The BLUEsat High-Altitude Ballooning Team will engineer a prototype of the stabilised platform intended to carry the small synthetic-aperture radar being developed in Italy.

BLUEsat UNSW – Today we got connected with the BLUEsat…

While we’re doing the balloon project so the project is to launch a radar on the bottom, yeah, so it involves sensors so the pressure and temperature that’s the thing we keep track of it. We have three separate transmitters which we want us from our Grand station.

The final product will incorporate various elements from our test flights, including tracking, remote separation, photography and telemetry, in addition to accurate pointing and stability. Stabilisation is required to isolate the radar device from the spinning and swaying caused by tethering it to a moving balloon.

This project is being supervised by Dr Elias Aboutanios. It is funded by NATO under the Science for Peace and Security Program.

More info

Additionally we use our balloon launches to test satellite components from our CubeSat Teams in near-space conditions.

The team is also working with the society’s Groundstation Team to develop methods for communicating with the High-Altitude Balloon payload whilst in flight.