Louisiana Aerospace Catalyst Experiences for Students

Join a LaACES Team!

UNO is currently forming a team or teams for the LaACES program. Undergraduates can get 1 hour credit for PHYS 2191 (freshman and sophomores) or PHYS 3191 (juniors and seniors). All majors are welcome!

If you are interested, contact Dr. Kevin Stokes, klstokes@uno.edu.


LaACES is the Louisiana Aerospace Catalyst Experiences for Students project, funded at Louisiana State University by NASA's National Space Grant College and Fellowship program.

LaACES gives undergraduate students an opportunity to design, build, and fly an electronic payload to altitudes of 100,000 ft on a high altitude weather balloon. The student lead team is responsible for all aspects of the project including design, electronics, programming, and project management. The team builds the small payload elect that performs atmospheric measurements. The team then travels to Palestine, TX in May to launch the payload on a high altitude balloon. After recovery of the payload, the data are downloaded and analyzed.

More information on the LaACES program can be found on the Louisiana Space Consortium (LASPACE) website

LaACES Project Components

Payload Construction
During LaACES, students design, build, fly and analyze the data returned from small payloads (typical dimensions 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm, typical weight ~500 grams) carried up to ~100,000 feet by a helium-filled latex sounding balloon.

Atmosphere Science
The goal of the balloon project is to collect and analyze data on the upper atmosphere. Shown here is UV radiation intensity measured by the 2008 UNO team.

Mechanical Design
Design of the thermally-insulated payload chamber by the 2011- 2012 UNO team.

Project Management
Students manage all aspects of the project.

Programming is a critical part of the data acquisition and analysis.

The heart of the payload is the BalloonSat micro-controller based development board. This programmable board provides a platform for acquisition of data from a variety of sensors.