P19104: HABIP-BioX

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Problem Statement

The High Altitude Balloon Instrumentation Project (HABIP), P19104, is a payload system that is to be carried by a Burst Balloon at high altitudes (80,000 to 120,000 feet) and support biological experiments for RIT’s College of Science in this near-space environment. By initiation of ground control, the system will monitor, record and transmit acquired experimental data and mission status. In the previous two design cycles the project has been updated with the following: the creation and implementation of an instrumentation platform (P17104) designed to communicate with the ground base station, i.e. execute commands and transmit acquired data; a means of capturing and storing sensor and video information (P17105); and, improvements in manufacturability and device reliability (P18104). Despite strong efforts to achieve the described functionality, ground communications were not implemented successfully. The payload also exceeded weight limitations.

The design of the current system must adapt the aforementioned projects to fit the needs of a plant growth study for RIT’s College of Science’s Biology department. The system shall be able to monitor, regulate and record the experiment’s environment through pressure, temperature and humidity measurements. It will also integrate previously developed and benchtop tested sensor circuitry and digital video transmission procedures. The payload must support up to 16 test tubes in a design compliant with the FAA and FCC regulations. Stabilization of the payload and test tubes must also be considered.

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

In this phase of the design process, we wanted to have a good understanding of what exactly our customer and stakeholders wanted and a plan going forward of what functionality would need to be implemented.

A detailed plan of things that will need to be done was accomplished as well as individual plans for each of the team members. Customer requirements and engineering requirements were created as well to serve as a reference to what the system as whole needs to do.

Project Summary

The High Altitude Balloon Instrumentation Platform (HABIP Bio-X) is a multi-functional system that allows users to collect and analyze plant growth data from near-space experiments. The device maintains a suitable growth environment for a number of plant tubes, and also telemeters data that has been gathered from an array of sensors to a ground communications center.

Values and Norms

A link to the values and norms that our team is holding to for the duration of MSD I and II can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Values and Norms.xlsx


Stakeholder Relation
Dr. Patru Customer
Dr. Sandra Connelly Plant Researcher
Dr. Jeffrey Mills Plant Researcher
MSD Team System Developers
Air Traffic Control Flight Safety Overseers

Customer Questions

A link to the questions that were asked to the customer can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Customer Interview Q and A.docx

A link to the main ideas that we took away from our interview with the customer can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Interview_Takeaways.pdf

Use Cases


To identify the different scenarios in the HABIP Bio-X will be used.

Scenario 1: 3 Hour Flight with burst balloon

Burst-Balloon Flight Use Scenario

Burst-Balloon Flight Use Scenario

Scenario 2: Zero-Pressure Balloon Flight

Zero-Pressure Balloon Flight Use Scenario

Zero-Pressure Balloon Flight Use Scenario

Scenario 3: One Week Lab Test

Lab Test Use Scenario

Lab Test Use Scenario




A link to the full document can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Deliverables.xlsx




A link to the full document can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Constraints.xlsx

Customer Requirements



A link to the full document can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Customer_Requirements.xlsx

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)



A link to the full document can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Engineering_Requirements.xlsx

House of Quality

House of quality.png

House of quality.png

A link to the full document can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/House_of_Quality.xlsx

Risk Analysis



A link to the full document can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Risk_Assessment.xlsx

Design Review Materials

The Problem definition presentation can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Project Definition Presentation.pptx

Plans for next phase

For the next three weeks of system design, the goal is to have a high level solution for each subsystem that will conceptually work itself and also work with all other subsystems. Another focus will include testing out systems that were made by previous HABIP senior design teams to determine what can be reused and what needs to be designed.

A generalized schedule for the rest of MSD I is shown here:



A more detailed schedule of the tasks and presentations we anticipate for the rest of MSD I can be found here: Problem Definition Documents/Detailed_MSD1_Gantt.xlsx

Three-week plans for individual team members:

Member Three-Week Plan
Braeden Morrison 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/BJM_3_Week_Plan_for_Systems_Design.docx
Larissa Plaskon 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/LFP_3_Week_Plan_for_Systems_Design.docx
Jacob Felice 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/JTF_3_Week_Plan_for_Systems_Design.docx
Andrew Eberhard 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/AJE_3_Week_Plan_for_Systems_Design.docx
Joe Payne 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/JDP_3_Week_Plan_for_Systems_Design.docx
Ryan Tatu 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/RNT_3 Week Plan for Systems Design.docx
Ben Cooper 3_week_plans/Systems_Design/BEC_3_Week_Plan_for_Systems_Design.docx

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