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ENGR 100.950:  Electronics for Atmospheric & Space Measurements (CLaSP)


David Greenspan (TechComm),

Alan Hogg (TechComm),

Aaron Ridley (CLaSP)

Winter Term

Course Description:

Building instrumentation for space and the atmosphere is a confluence of several engineering fields including electrical and mechanical engineering and computer science.  Autonomous instrumentation has a structure to contain and shield it from its possibly harsh environment, an electronics system to take and record the data, a power system to run the instruments, and software to record and control the system.  In this section, you will learn the skills to design, build and deploy a sensor package to measure the characteristics of the atmosphere on a weather balloon as it ascends to 100,000 ft altitude. You will learn:

  • Practical skills from several engineering fields including using and programming a microcontroller, soldering, and designing a printed circuit board (PCB)
  • Solving complex problems using the engineering method
  • Analysis of multiple data sets including GPS, temperature, pressure, humidity, and acceleration
  • Understanding the cycle of a project through the conception, requirements flowdown, design, build, test, deployment, analysis, documentation, and reporting processes

Term Project:

Design, build, test, and deploy a sensor package on a high-altitude balloon. Measure the characteristics of the atmosphere as the balloon ascends and the payload descends after the balloon pops.


Use an Arduino microcontroller; take data with analog sensors; store data on an SD card using the microcontroller; use Altium to design electrical systems

Drawing of a robot holding sign that says “I love ENGR 100” on whiteboard
Student drilling two pieces of wood together
Black toolbox filled with colorful parts on table in front of classroom