Balloon Mission


The DEBORA Balloon Mission is a secondary mission within AlbertaSat. We are a team of 15 students from a variety of science and engineering programs. 


The primary objective of the DEBORA Balloon Mission is: 

To design, build, and test space certified payloads. 

This will provide opportunities for students to develop technical skills and seek mentorship on a smaller scale project within the space community.

Other objectives include:
    • enabling access for students to individuals and resources within the space industry.

What is DEBORA?

The Dedicated Electron Balloon Observatory for Radiation belt Analysis (DEBORA) is a high altitude balloon mission that is studying bremstrahhlung X-rays in the stratosphere.


Bremstrahhlung X-rays – Bremsstrahlung (or “braking radiation”) is the radiation given off by free electrons that are deflected (i.e., accelerated) in the electric fields of charged particles and the nuclei of atoms [1]

The main payload will be an X-Ray spectrometer, created using the MiniPIX EDU from Advacam. This USB camera uses the Timepix from CERN as the readout chip.  It measures the position, energy and timing of 40 million impacts per second per cm2. It is high speed and has a continuous read out, severely mitigating the dead time issue that a photomultiplier tube would have. The minimum detectable charge is less than 500 electron charges. 

The payload will be created by integrating the camera with a Raspberry Pi 4B (8GB) computer, along with additional hardware, like a GPS, pressure and temperature gauge and accelerometer to measure longitude, latitude and altitude as well as environmental conditions. 

The payload will also measure the energies of incoming X-rays that are created when solar precipitate electrons collide with neutral atmospheric particles. The energy of the X-rays that we will be studying are in the 5-60 keV range, due to the constraints of the X-Ray camera.

Our Team

[1] Barthe, N., Maîtrejean, S., & Cardona, A. M. A. (2012). High-Resolution Beta Imaging. Elsevier EBooks, 1209–1242.