Interviews with scientists using HABs

Interview with Alexa Halford: space physics

8 January 2016
Alexa Halford uses HABs to study space weather. In particular, she is interested in what happens when high energy particles emitted from the sun come into contact with earth’s magnetosphere, or the region of space dominated by earth’s magnetic field. Sometimes, these powerful particles lead to electronic anomalies or hardware damage, causing problems for satellites, radio communications, and devices on earth’s surface. Storms can even be unsafe for astronauts. The effects of a solar storm could have devastating results, yet the ability to accurately predict the magnitude of the storm is still a major challenge.

Interview with Danny Bowman: atmospheric low frequency sound

30 December 2015
Not very long ago, Danny Bowman, was launching and testing his first balloons in the New Mexico desert. Now, he uses high altitude balloons to study sounds in the middle of the stratosphere. Little is known about what exactly those sounds mean, but he is hearing something similar to what was heard the last time someone listened in the ‘60s! His message to those new to HABs is about their wonder and accessibility. When talking about his first latex-based HAB, he says, “The [flight] was not genius. It was something anyone who put their mind to it could do. We went 1/3 of the way to space, and it is within reach!” If you keep tinkering with an idea, you can do really cool things. If you are tolerant of things going wrong, if you keep working forward, eventually you can send a balloon over 100,000 ft and get the pictures back to prove it.

Talking with the Stanford Space Initiative

5 November 2015
Despite its youth, the Stanford Space Initiative is propelling aerospace technology and leadership. It has quckily become the largest project-based group on campus and continues to set remarkable goals. Here, several SSI leaders share some of what they have learned

Interview with Noelle Bryan: atomospheric microbiology

28 October 2015
How far would you go to recover your payload? Would you take a chance in alligator infested waters? That is exactly what Noelle Bryan did while searching Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana for her missing payload. In fact, HABs have taken her on several adventures during her quest to understand the microbiology of the stratosphere.