High Altitude Ballooning

Team Data Projects Tutorials Resources

The City Colleges of Chicago in partnership with DePaul University and the support of a generous grant from the Illinois Space Grant and NASA are doing High Altitude Balloon (HAB) projects.

This video shows one of our balloons popping at altitude (about 90,000 feet).  It starts falling at over 100 mph!

This short video shows a tethered launch from Chicago’s Center for the Lost Arts on the near west side.  It was captured by Josh Anaya and Anayalated Arials.  Everything’s good until those last few seconds…

Meet the Team

Name Role
Christine Aquila Faculty
Mike Davis Faculty
Catherine Han Faculty
Thomas Higgins Faculty
Andrew Kruger Faculty
Rowena Misayah Faculty
Raymund Torralba Faculty
Philip Vargas Faculty
Sara Callahan Student
Heather Nelson Student
Giovanni Martinez Student
Trish Truong Student
Thomas Trzpit Student


  • Wind speed data (TXT) – This file contains voltage and windspeed from a launch done on July 1, 2015.  We launched an anemometer, which spun generating a voltage that was converted to a wind-speed with an arduino.  We don’t have 100% confidence in our method on this one, but we did get data.
  • Balloon Flight Path – These KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth.  They show the location of the balloon during its flight from our APRS Ham Radio beacon.
    • 7-1-2015 (KMZ)
    • 7-10-2015(KMZ)
    • 7-17-2015 (KMZ)



Presentation (2-5-16):  Chicago Symposium on Teaching Excellence – Chicago, IL

Presentation (4-1-16):  National Science Teachers Association – Nashville, TN


High Altitude Ballooning Hub

Jet Stream Forecast Maps

APRS Tracking Site

Ascent Rate Calculator


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