Design Engineering

Canadian Space Agency announces Stratospheric Balloon Flight research grant opportunity


General Aerospace Canadian Space Agency

The CSA will award two $75,000 grants to support Canadian post-secondary institutions research projects and enable future competitiveness in the space sector.

The Canadian Space Agency has opened up a call for researchers to participate in a stratospheric balloon flight campaign currently planned for April 2017 in Alice Springs, Australia.

CSA stratospheric baloon

Stratospheric balloon launched during the Strato Science 2015 campaign, from Timmins, Ontario. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

The opportunity is part of the Flight for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) 2016 program and the CSA will award two $75,000 grants.

The CSA hopes this opportunity will attract and train Canadian researchers to build capacity to enable future competitiveness and productivity in the space sector. The grants will support Canadian post-secondary institutions research projects that offer hands-on experience before, during and after a stratospheric balloon campaign that has similarities with a real space mission.

Applicants must select at least one of the following six research disciplines and priorities for their project:


Satellite engineering: Satellite and spacecraft systems, components, environments and operations; system engineering techniques; mechanical design; communication system engineering.

Space life science: Research that has as main objective to better understand, or characterize and mitigate the risks to humans associated with spaceflight, and develop novel countermeasures. We welcome the use of research models and recognize that the development of improved in situ bioanalysis, bio imaging and biomonitoring is critical to accomplish our goals. Strategies against those risks, or to develop improved diagnostic or treatment techniques.

Space astronomy: Astronomical investigations and development of prototypes of astronomical instruments that address space science objectives identified in the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) Long Range Plan and mid-term review.

Planetary exploration: Planetary science and technology investigations that address objectives identified in the 2009 Canadian Scientific Priorities for the Global Exploration Strategy document.

Earth system science: Remote sensing of atmospheric composition and dynamics, clouds and precipitation, soil moisture and freeze/thaw state, hydrology, land cover, biomass fires, snow and ice, primarily in Canada.

Solar-terrestrial science: In situ measurements or remote sensing of energetic particles, magnetic fields, electric fields, and geospace interactions with the neutral atmosphere.

Proposals must include a detailed training plan that outlines how hands-on experience will enable highly qualified personnel to develop skills including Industrial design; Mechanical, optical or electrical engineering systems; Payload assembly, integration, testing and operation; Software development; and Data analysis.

The CSA will award a total of $150,000 in the form of two grants. The deadline to apply is October 28, 2016.


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