Mexico’s IPN Embarks on Groundbreaking Stratospheric Research with NASA and National Science Foundation Collaboration

IPN to Join NASA Mission with Experimental Ship in Stratosphere

The National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) is set to participate in its first suborbital mission to the stratosphere with the Emidds-6 (Experimental Module for the Iterative Design of Satellite Subsystems version 6). The mission, carried out in collaboration with NASA and the United States National Science Foundation, will depart from Antarctica at McMurdo Base on Ross Island near New Zealand.

Led by Mario Alberto Mendoza Bárcenas, a researcher at the Aerospace Development Center (CDA) of IPN, the Emidss-6 module will be on a special trajectory FY25 aboard super-pressure balloons (SPB). This trajectory will allow for the identification of contaminants, specifically microplastics in the stratosphere, through image capture and environmental data collection during the balloon’s flight to its maximum floating point.

Due to the presence of a persistent high-pressure system known as the polar vortex over Antarctica, the Emidds-6 module will be able to maintain a constant altitude for an extended period, allowing for valuable data collection. The module will record environmental variables using sensors to measure humidity, temperature, relative humidity, and ultraviolet radiation.

In July, experts from IPN and other institutions underwent technical and electromagnetic compatibility evaluations by NASA experts to ensure compliance with standards. The mission involved experts from IPN, Institutes of Applied Sciences and Technology and Engineering at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Western Institute of Technology and Higher Studies (ITESM), Molina Center for Energy and Environment (MCEE), among others.

Overall, this mission aims to characterize low latitude stratospheric environment using Mexican aerospace technology positioning IPN as a key player in cutting edge research and scientific exploration.

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