WSU Vancouver students prepare weather balloon

"Engineering and computer science students at Washington State University Vancouver have been hard at work designing and building a high-altitude weather balloon they plan to launch in less than three weeks.

The team of 17 WSU Vancouver students — electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and computer scientists — have clocked about 2,000 hours on the project. All but one student are juniors.

It’s the second year the team has participated in the Global Space Balloon Challenge, the world’s largest high-altitude balloon competition. High-altitude balloons are large weather balloons that carry cameras and sensors to the edge of space, according to the Global Space Balloon Challenge website.

The students receive no college credit for the project.

“It’s more for learning,” said Michael Hamilton, the team’s leader and chair of the student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers on campus..."