The Space Club of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) in 2015 made history by their participation in the 2015 Global Space Balloon Challenge. In the challenge we launched a 600g balloon flowing into the atmosphere at an ascent rate of 300m/min to a maximum height of about 32km in Space. Alongside the balloon, we performed a pollution experiment, taking the vertical profile measurement of the concentration of Carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, an important experiment in understanding Global Warming and Climate research.
The Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC) is the coming together of people around the world to simultaneously fly high altitude balloons from every corner of the globe, celebrating an age where anyone can reach the edge of space for a few hundred dollars and a few weekends of work. By providing a specified launch window and central online platform, the GSBC enables teams to showcase their unique cultures while working together to educate the next generation and push the boundaries of what is technologically feasible. The fundamental goal of the GSBC is to build a community where everyone can learn from each other and build on each other’s accomplishments.
Being the only participant from West Africa with a successful launch, the feat was achieved after few weeks of preparation. Students were divided into teams to work on different aspect of the project, a weather prognosis team which worked on designing a workflow to predict the weather, payload design and tracking prognosis team which developed the payload for the balloon which comprises of a camera that took the video coverage of the Earth as the balloon ascends, a tracking device and the sensor for measuring Carbon monoxide. The parachute that ensured safe delivery of the balloon back to Earth was developed using umbrella materials.
“Our aim is to provide a platform in which students can expand their knowledge in Space Science and Applications preparing them to become leaders in the sector tomorrow,” said Professor. J. Akinyede, Director, Centre for Space Research and Application of the University.