Kent Student’s Work Flying High

On Sunday, 7th March, Scott James, a third year Computer Systems Engineering student from the University of Kent, set his final year project soaring with help from the Cambridge University Space Flight team.

The High Altitude Project, code-named ‘Orion’, took off successfully at Churchill College after a year of intensive preparation at Kent University’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts. A scientific instrument payload including two digital cameras, a GPS receiver and a digital thermometer was attached to a sounding balloon and sent into the highest reaches of the atmosphere.

Position, light and temperature readings were recorded during the flight, which reached 30,000 meters (98425 feet) and travelled 147 miles across England from Cambridge to Nuffield. Atmospheric temperatures reached a low of -56°C during the three-hour flight and over 300 still photos and 2 hours of video were returned safely to earth after the parachute-aided descent.

Project Supervisor, Dr John Batchelor, said: ‘Right from the outset I was impressed by Scott’s dedication to his project. He worked really hard to get his equipment launched and I think the results look fantastic’

Futher High Altitude Projects are in development, with improvements to the exsitsing payload, ultimately aiming to reach a stratospheric 330,000m meters.

Special thanks to the CUSE team, Kent’s mechanical workshop and the students who spent their own personal time to help out with the flight.

More detailed information including media of the project can be found at: