Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

Our first goal was to understand the given customer requirements for this High Altitude Balloon (HAB) instrumentation platform, and extract the engineering requirements needed to fulfill these requirements. After meeting with the customer, it has become clear what the customer expects from this system. Based on this information, a preliminary problem definition has been formed, which when solved, will fulfill the customer requirements. In addition, a set of engineering requirements has been formed from the customer requirements, that specify specific details on how the customer requirements will be fulfilled.

Project Summary

RIT’s Space Exploration (SPEX) group performs high altitude balloon (HAB) launches. One reason for a HAB launch is to test cubesat systems relatively cheaply and easily. An instrumentation platform is needed as a base station for these HAB missions. The instrumentation platform will operate in a near space environment, and will need to communicate with a ground base station; thus, a major portion of this base functionality is the communication system. There have been platforms and balloon launches in the past (METEOR 2005), but they were not all successful and did not provide a great deal of functionality.

The goals of this project are to create and test a base system to acquire and transmit location and telemetry information and video, interface with GPS and transceivers, and receive and execute ground commands. The final design must will be integrated with a partner project “Data Acquisition and Control System”. These two systems combined will form a functional prototype that can be used for future SPEX missions. The resulting design and prototype will be well documented and tested with a HAB launch.


Stakeholder Position
Dr. Patru Customer
Boeing Sponsor
RIT SPEX Specific Interest Group
HABIP-COMMS MSD Team Device Developers
HABIP-DAQCS MSD Team Device Developers
Rochester Institute of Technology MSD Sponsor

Use Cases



Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Customer Requirements (Needs)



The importance scale uses 9 as most important and 1 as least important.

The working Customer Requirements document can be found here: Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)



The working Engineering Requirements document can be found here: Engineering Requirements


House of Quality



The working House of Quality document can be found here: House of Quality

Risk Management



The working Risk Management document can be found here: Risk Management

Design Review Materials

The following presentation was given on September 8, 2016: Google Slides

Notes from the design review can be found here: Problem Definition Review Notes

Team Plans for Next Phase

Our plan for the next phase is to develop a high level system diagram. This diagram should describe how the entire COMMS system will work. In addition, it will describe how the COMMS system will interface with the DAQCS system. The following Gantt chart describes our plan in detail:


The working Gantt Chart can be found here: Microsoft Project

Individual Plans

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