Purpose of the flight and payload description

The balloon transported a prototype denominated QEOBS (Quantum Earth Observatory) aimed to demonstrate the capabilities of classical, quantum and hybrid machine learning onboard a CubeSat. With that array of sensors the team would be able to evaluate quantum & classical machine learning approaches on earth observation tasks, including atmospheric gravity wave measurements or multispectral image classification and segmentation. The experiment will demonstrate how on-board data processing and machine learning result in reduced downlink bandwidth.

The experiment was developed by Orion Labs, LLC a company based in Nunn, Colorado. The flight was sponsored by NASA under a initiative known as the TechLeap Prize that seeks to improve a variety of Earth and space-based capabilities, including detecting and tracking wildfires, identifying plumes of gas venting into Earth's atmosphere, and precision tracking of small spacecraft positions in orbit. The prize was conducted by NASA under its Flight Opportunities program.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 7/28/2022 at 11:22 utc
Launch site: Raven Innovation Campus, Baltic, South Dakota, US  
Balloon launched by: Raven Aerostar
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon  
Flight identification number: HBAL601
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 7/28/2022 at 20:20 utc (L)
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 8 h 55 m
Landing site: 20 km NW of Winner, South Dakota, US

External references

Images of the mission

The TechLeap Prize-winning Orion Labs team makes final hardware checks on their Quantum Earth Observation payload prior to launch on an Aerostar high altitude balloon (Credits: Orion Labs/Margarita Reyes) Preparing the balloon for launch Aerostar's Zero-Pressure Balloon System launches from Baltic (SD) carrying a TechLeap Prize winning payload from Orion Labs in its gondola. (Credit: Orion Labs/Margarita Reyes)    

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