Balloon Missions

BEXUS 30/31

September 29, 2021
BEXUS 30/31

BEXUS – Balloon Experiments for University Students

The Bexus 30/31 balloon launch campaign takes place between 24th of September and 4th of October 2021. Distributed on the two vehicles there are 9 experiments from all over Europe participating in the REXUS/BEXUS Student Programme.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realized under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Agency (ESA).

EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from ESA, ZARM, SSC and DLR provides technical support to the student teams troughout the project.

REXUS and BEXUS are launched from SSC, Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.

BEXUS 30/31

Team Pictures

General information

Launch Site Esrange Space Center
Launch period 2021-09-29 - 2021-10-04
Launch window 06.00LT - 16.00LT
Balloon Type Zodiac 12SF 12000³


The experiment aims at providing a thermally controlled and pressurised environment onboard the BAMMsat payload relevant to maintaining viable biological samples in an extreme operational environment such as the Earth’s stratosphere.
Climate change is a global concern and greenhouse gases are the main factors causing it. The ECO WISE experiment aims to examine the main mechanisms that contribute to the aggravation of this phenomenon. Α vertical and linear distribution of the most important trace gases (CO2, O3) will be measured during the ascending and descending phase as well as the floating time of the stratospheric balloon flight.
This Experiment is designed to capture electromagnetic waves in the extremely low frequency band (3Hz up to 100Hz) in reference to the alternating height level on the flight of the stratospheric balloon. Of special interest are the Schumann resonances. The experiment will contain a big loop antenna as a receiver it will be attached to three channels that filter the frequencies received.
The aim of the experiment is the study of air pollutants of anthropogenic and natural origin through an economic and easily reproducible device that can quickly intervene in the study of restricted areas. The first step of the experiment consists in collecting, at different altitudes, theatmospheric air, trapping, with a system of filters, the solid particles and different gaseous substances including pollutants, such as brominated compounds.
The stratospheric microbiome has been investigated several times using the methods of classical microbiology. In this experiment, the students are going to combine them with some novel approaches including whole-metagenome amplification and NGS sequencing. The
analysis of metagenome will help to determine the content of various species of bacteria in the sample collected in the stratosphere. Diversification of methods will help to distinguish culturable microorganisms from non-culturable ones.


The interaction of primary cosmic rays with the molecules of the Earth’s atmosphere leads to a complex radiation field which consists among others of neutrons. The Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FaNS) has been developed to determine the flux of fast neutrons within the Earth’s atmosphere. The instrument consists of a boron-doped plastic scintillator which is optimized for the energy range from about 0:5MeV to above 10MeV
Launching Satellites into space is an expensive adventure. Every kilogram that can be saved reduces the overall costs of a satellite’s launch. Implementing lightweight structures into satellites is very important in today’s space engineering. MASS is an experiment to test a rigidization method on an inflatable structure for space applications. Cylindrical and Conical shaped structures made of polyester film will be tested in the
stratosphere on board of the high-altitude balloon BX31 by inflating the flat-folded structures and rigidize them with an integrated resin that cures once exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) is a form of radar that uses the motion of the antenna over a target region to provide an image with fine spatial resolution. The goal of our experiment, SARIA (Synthetic-Aperture Radar using an Inflatable Antenna), is to perform SAR of the ground surrounding the flight path, from the BEXUS gondola, with a COTS Software Defined Radio (SDR) and a reflector inflatable antenna
that is designed and built by the students. Inflatable antennas have several possible applications, as they are very lightweight and portable. Their usage may help reduce the size needed for small imaging satellites.
Gamma-Ray polarimetry is very relevant to the understanding of gamma-ray bursts (GRB’s) and high-energy astrophysics phenomena. It is still a relatively unexplored field, and the data collected so far is in general statistically poor to draw good conclusions, since the noise-level of gamma-ray on the range of 100 keV and 1 MeV is at least one order of magnitude higher than the actual signal, at flight altitudes. This experiment will address this issue by measuring the background noise-level of gamma-ray as a function of the altitude and the multiplicity of the events, so that future experiments and simulations can benefit from this data to improve their statistics.

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Missions overview

The Bexus 30/31 balloon launch campaign takes place between 24th of September and 4th of October 2021. Distributed on the two vehicles there are 9 experiments from all over Europe participating in the REXUS/BEXUS Student Programme.

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