UL’s Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment (CAPE) team is pleased to announce the launch of CrawSat III weather balloon on December 18th, 2010. 

CrawSat III is part of the larger the CAPE project.  The balloon launch will teach recruits to the team the dynamics of working with electronics in a near space environment and prepare them for working on the CAPE Project while doing necessary testing of equipment.

The weather balloon will carry instruments to detect temperature and pressure changes at high altitudes, along with an experimental electronics package created by a group of senior students from Northside High School. This experimental package will be consist of an accelerometer, an infrared sensor, an UV sensor, a compass, and an air quality sensor.
In addition the balloon will be flying small "PearlSats" made by middle school students from NP Moss Middle School.  PearlSats are ping pong balls which carry science experiments designed by the students with guidance from their teachers. The PearlSats are constructed by the students and their teachers by cutting a ping pong ball in half, inserting a small object, and then gluing the ping pong ball back together.  Students are instructed to put any small items they would like inside these ping pong balls, such as candy, or vegetable seeds, etc.  The PearlSats are strung together like a string of pearls and attached to the weather balloon to form a payload.

The Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment (CAPE) is a student run project, operating under the auspices of the of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s William Hansen Hall Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  The student team designs, programs, and develops picosatellites conforming to the Cubesats standard set by Cal Poly and Stanford University.

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CAPE has already successfully launched one Cubesat (CAPE-1) into orbit in April 2007 from Kazakhstan, and is currently working on the second iteration CAPE-2. In addition the project has had multiple successful weather balloon launches, the most recent being CrawSat I in January 2009.