Questions? Check out answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.
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Proposals are due October 28, 2022 and need to be submitted to nebp [at] sympa.montana.edu.
Yes, each indivudual team must choose between the two tracks. The equipment and supplies each team will receive is substantial as is the learning required. Information about each track is in the menu on the left.
Yes, every selected team must participate in the project from January 2023 through at least May 2024. The annular eclipse on October 14, 2023 is an important data collection opportunity for the Atmospheric Science teams and it is a vital dry run for the Engineering teams. Engineering teams will also be collecting important atmospheric science data during the annular eclipse.
Each team must provide:
- A team leader who holds a position at the team’s leading institution,
- Student support (funding, credits, and/or recognition),
- Funding for travel to field locations during both the 2023 and 2024 eclipse campaigns, and
- Funding for purchase of helium
- communicating with your state's Space Grant program (https://www.nasa.gov/stem/spacegrant/home/Space_Grant_Consortium_Websites.html)
- seeking funding from your home institution, college, department, and/or student research office
- working with your institution's office of sponsored programs to identify external sources of funding
No, teams will not receive any funding from NEBP. Those teams who receive additional support for travel and helium will receive the support as a reimbursement, not as a grant. NEBP wants your institutions to know you are participating, but there will be no grant-like agreement between the institutions and NEBP.
Please join our email distribution list. Once we get moving with the project in January 2023, teams will be in contact continually with their pod.
Teams need to attend the workshop for their pod so that the pod can build a sense of community and so that no workshop has too many or too few participants. Teams can look at the current list of pods to get an idea of what the pods will likely be. We will have finalized pods once all teams have been chosen (by November 30).
We recommend no fewer than 6 and probably not more than 15 unless the team has a lot of travel support and has additional roles beyond those listed on our suggested student roles page.
We expect the minimum time commitment over the course of the project will be about 120 hours (many teams and individuals will invest far more time). Of this, we anticipate that about 15% (18 hours) will go toward the non-technical skills that help build your STEM career portfolio. These educational options will cover topics such as teamwork, communication and diversity, equity, inclusion and access among many others.
Most of the technical skills students will learn – whether that is in atmospheric science or engineering – will be in-person with their team leader or guests from the NEBP project. On the other hand, most of the STEM career portfolio building skills will be delivered in a variety of online formats – some live and some asynchronous (recorded or self-paced).
Several of the STEM career portfolio building skills will be bundled into “learning pathways,” which help a participant dive deeply into a topic. Students who wish to complete a Learning Pathway can earn a certificate of achievement; a NASA digital badge; and a signed letter from the NEBP Program Director – all valuable assets to put in a career portfolio and show to a future employer! And, who knows, we might be able to offer some cool NASA gear, too.
Some academic institutions may offer academic credit for participation; however, this is not guaranteed and will vary from institution to institution.
The NEBP project is at its core an educational project. Career skills, such as teamwork, public speaking, and leadershop are important for future education and jobs.
Absolutely! We highly encourage team mentors to offer special topics courses for their potential team members. We've created suggested course syllabi. Even if you can't offer a course, the syllabi are a helpful list of topics. We'll provide all of the learning resources listed in the syllabi.
None! NEBP has a leadership team of regional “Pod Leaders” with all the experience required to perform team training for teams within their region. Regional maps can be found here.
By participating in NEBP, students will learn:
- how to conduct collaborative scientific research,
- components of safe and successful field work,
- basic physics of the atmosphere,
- data quality control/cleaning and analysis,
- STEM career skills, and
- the ability to share findings with the public through effective science communication.
The Atmospheric Science Workshops will be five days long, including travel time.
Expectations are listed on the Atmospheric Science information page.
That depends on the trajectory predictions and the range of the video streaming system. It would be good to at least prepare for the possibility of having the ground station (staffed) located "down-range" - closer to where the balloon will be during totality (at altitude). This might mean you'll need extra people on your team or, at least, plan to find some bystanders to help with the launch (which will be well before totality, so people won't be busy).
Limited. The details of each individually designed custom experiments are up to the team designing them.
The Engineering workshops are five days of content; travel days are in addition.
Yes, each engineering team must fly the standard engineering payloads. There is capacity on the payload string for custom payloads as long as the entire weight is under 12 pounds.
Yes. Some parts of the Engineering payloads and ground station will have to be put together mechanically and electrically. NEBP will soon provide the list of materials each fully-supported engineering team will receive.
Yes. Basic soldering is required. Surface mount soldering is not required.
No. Basic hand tools and soldering stations will not be provided. Required specialty tools will be provided.
Tarps, regulators and gloves will be provided. Wind meters will not be provided.
NEBP has limited spare parts however links for replacing parts will be provided.
This is an Iridium Satellite based asset tracker that we use to determine the location of the balloon and to send commands to the balloon payloads.
Yes. The tracking websites we provide for real time position updates are used by the FAA and the modem is required to provide those updates. We also send commands for flight termination and vent control through the Iridium Satellite system. The modem and antennas will be supplied in the engineering kit for each team.
The current rate is $13.00 per month and $0.00133 per byte. Typical flights use around 65kb and cost $85. Each team will have to have a credit card on file with NAL Research to pay for the monthly charges.
The tracking websites can be found at eclipse.rci.montana.edu and https://borealis.rci.montana.edu.