Poster Presentation

Balloon Payload Desgin

  • Mike Bastidas
  • Chris Kelley
  • Edgar Bering
  • Andrew Renshaw


High-altitude balloon payloads require enclosures that combine low weight, significant insulation performance, high levels of protection from landing impacts, and a rigging design that is inherently redundant and intrinsically safe. A method was developed to produce payload enclosures We have developed a box construction method with desirable performance characteristics, low cost, and ease of manufacture. These payloads were conducted as part of Payloads built with these new boxes were flown during the Nationwide Ballooning Eclipse Project (NEBP) in conjunction with the Undergraduate Student Instrumentation Project (USIP) at the University of Houston. Using simple operations in 3D CAD software and simple photographs of the payload electronics, a 3D model of each payload enclosure was modeled. A layered construction method using 2-inch (50mm) thick expanded polystyrene foam was used to ease assembly and manufacturability with a simple 3-axis CNC router. Carbon fiber tubes were embedded in the sides of the enclosures to act as both hanging points and guide sleeves for the suspension lines. This full-flight train flew during both the 2023 and 2024 eclipses as part of the NEBP, while one component made an additional flight that ended in a very rough landing. In all flights, the payload electronics suffered no damage. The construction methods allowed for rapidly producing replacement enclosure components when required. These methods are also easy to replicate and modify to suit various payloads. 

How to Cite:

Bastidas, M., Kelley, C., Bering, E. & Renshaw, A., (2024) “Balloon Payload Desgin”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2024(2). doi:



Published on
31 May 2024
Peer Reviewed