Summary of our adventure

Our adventure with BEXUS started in May 2018 as a group project gathering five engineering students from Ecole Polytechnique. Our endorsing professor David Mimoun - a lecturer at ISAE-Supaero currently working on Insight - told us about the possibility of building a balloon-borne experiment that we could carry on a BEXUS balloon.

After having defined the most common organisation and project management in such space missions, we started to work on the BEXUS proposal during Summer 2018.

In August 2018, our team met the ISAE-Supaero team in Toulouse, France to better define our project. We then understood that our work on stratospheric infrasounds lay in a bigger project: that is to have a better understanding of the nature and the propagation of infrasounds in the atmosphere. The meeting at Supaero had also been the occasion for us to see what had already been done and to help for a 30-meter-high test flight. The design we submitted to the selection panel on October 17th was a smaller version of what we had seen in Toulouse.

After having been selected to be part of the BEXUS programme, we realized that a group of five was not enough to fulfill the mission: five new members joined the project in December 2018, and three others the next month. We then clearly defined the requirements of our mission and started to re-work entirely our initial design. Finally, we discovered an important part of every space project: documentation.

The preliminary design phase ended after a review that was held during the Student Training Week in February 2019. We then started the critical design phase: we slightly modified our design according to the comments of the BEXUS organizers to improve it, we launched the first tests and we made the first prototypes. Now, almost one year after the composition of our initial group, we are preparing for the Critical Design Review.

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