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WFF Student Opportunities - High Altitude Student Platform (HASP)

The High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) was conceived to provide students with flight opportunities that are intermediate between those available with small latex sounding balloons and Earth orbiting satellites. HASP is a support vehicle, based upon flight proven hardware and software designs that use an 11 million cubic foot, thin film polyethylene, helium filled balloon to carry multiple student built payloads to altitudes of ~120,000 feet (~36km) for durations up to 20 hours. The platform is currently designed to support eight small payloads of ~3 kg weight and four large payloads of ~20 kg weight (i.e. 12 experiment "seats"). A standard interface is provided for each student payload that includes power, serial telemetry, discrete commands and analog output. HASP will archive student payload data on-board as well as telemeter the stream to the ground for real-time access. [image-51]

HASP includes a standard mechanical, power and communication interface for the student payload, based upon a flight tested design. This simplifies integration, allows the student payloads to be fully exercised, and minimizes platform development / operation costs. In addition, HASP is lightweight and has simple mission requirements, thus providing maximum flexibility in the launch schedule.

The major goals of the HASP Program are to foster student excitement in an aerospace career path and to help address workforce development issues in this area. HASP plans to provide a "space test platform" to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products. By getting the students involved with every aspect of the program HASP hopes to fill the gap between and student built sounding balloons and satellites, while also enhancing the technical skills and research abilities of the students.

HASP flight program is supported by the NASA Balloon Program Office (BPO) and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE). Currently, HASP flies once a year in September from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) base in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Typically, HASP requests student payload flight applications in the fall prior to the flight year. These applications are then reviewed by both the BPO and LaSPACE, and a selection is made by January of the flight year. Student payload integration with HASP is then accomplished during July / August just prior to the flight. Once selected as a HASP participant student teams are not charged for the flight. However, student teams must provide their own funding to support payload development and integration and there are a few document “deliverables” that the teams must supply.

See the HASP website (http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp/) for further information.


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A sunset shot of HASP in action.
A sunset shot of HASP in action. Click to enlarge.
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Page Last Updated: June 30th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell