2012 Workshop on Stratospheric Balloons

October 29-30, 2012

General Information

Stratospheric balloons are suborbital platforms that can reach stratospheric altitudes and carry scientific instruments weighing over one ton. At an altitude of 15 to 40 km, scientists can study atmospheric phenomena related to climate change or observe the Universe without interference from Earth's atmosphere. Such balloons can also be used to demonstrate and validate space technologies at lower costs as compared to larger satellite missions.

Scientific and technical experiments using stratospheric balloons have greatly advanced knowledge in astronomical and atmospheric sciences, and have been used to train and prepare the next generation of engineers, scientists and technicians to play key roles in future space missions.

In response to the needs expressed by the Canadian scientific community, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), will offer Canadian researchers access to stratospheric balloon campaigns of the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) of France, beginning in 2014. Annual two-month CNES campaigns will be carried out from different sites around the world including Timmins, Ontario, where CSA is developing a new balloon launch facility.

The 2012 Workshop on Stratospheric Balloons will be held at the CSA headquarters on October 29-30, 2012, to present to the community more information about a ten-year CSA-CNES cooperation agreement and the flight opportunities it will create for Canadian scientists.

Workshop Objectives

  • Inform and consult the scientific community about the utilization of CNES stratospheric balloons;
  • Present the terms and conditions for Canada's access to the CNES balloon flight campaigns in Canada and elsewhere in the world;
  • Identify Canadian scientific and technological objectives requiring balloon flights.

Time and Location

The 2012 workshop on stratospheric balloons will be held on October 29 and 30, 2012, at the Canadian Space Agency:

John H. Chapman Space Centre
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
Telephone: 450-926-4800
How to get to the John H. Chapman Space Centre


Registration is now closed. This event has reached full capacity.

Foreign participants must provide the CSA with their full name, country of origin and passport number before the workshop.

Preliminary Program

DAY 1 - October 29, 2012

Time Subject Speaker Organization
9:00 a.m. Opening remarks To be confirmed CSA
9:15 a.m. Context and objectives of the Workshop Martin Lebeuf CSA
9:30 a.m. CSA-CNES cooperation agreement Daniel Lévesque CSA
9:45 a.m. CNES balloon program Didier Vassaux CNES
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:30 a.m. Types of CNES balloons and balloon campaigns  André Vargas CNES
11:00 a.m. Research in French laboratories and the utilization of balloons by scientists Claude Camy-Peyret CNRS-France
11:30 a.m. Atmospheric research in Germany with stratospheric balloons: achievements, perspectives and ideas for European-Canadian cooperations Hermann Oelhaf Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)- Germany
12:00 p.m. Balloon utilization in astrophysics Barth Netterfield University of Toronto
12:30 p.m. Lunch (CSA cafeteria, at the participants' expense)
1:30 p.m. Balloon utilization in atmospheric sciences Kimberly Strong University of Toronto
2:00 p.m. New balloon launch facility in Timmins, Ontario

Integration of Canadian payloads, process and technical documentation to be provided by the researchers

Concept of safety and mission assurance

Daniel Lévesque CSA
2:30 p.m. Coffee break
2:45 p.m. Concept of operations during campaigns in Timmins, Ontario

André Vargas

Daniel Lévesque



4:00 p.m.

Research funding and access to the CNES campaigns within and outside Canada

Space Industrial Capacity

Martin Lebeuf

Sylvie Béland



4:30 p.m. Question period Martin Lebeuf CSA
5:00 p.m. Adjournment of Day 1

DAY 2 - October 30, 2012

Time Subject Speaker Organization
8:30 a.m. Recap of Day 1 and recall objectives for Day 2 Martin Lebeuf CSA
8:45 a.m. Breakout sessions Canadian science and balloon utilization:
  • Identification of research themes and scientific objectives;
  • Identification of technologies/ instruments necessary to achieve these scientific objectives;
  • Budget requirements for science and technology research projects requiring balloon flights.
Marcus Dejmek CSA
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
11:30 a.m. Identify Canadian interest in:
  • Flight campaigns in Timmins, Ontario;
  • Equatorial flight campaigns (e.g. in French Guyana);
  • Flight campaigns in the arctic (e.g. from Sweden) ;
  • Construction of a generic gondola ;
  • Access to other types of CNES balloons.
Marcus Dejmek CSA
12:30 p.m. Lunch (CSA cafeteria, at the participants' expense)
1:30 p.m. Preparation of a summary paragraph and presentation from each breakout group
2:45 p.m. Coffee break
3:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion of the conclusions from the breakout sessions Session Leaders (chairs)
4:30 p.m. Question period Martin Lebeuf CSA
5:00 p.m. End of workshop Martin Lebeuf CSA


A special rate has been negociated with Hôtel Mortagne. Please contact the hotel directly regarding their reservation and cancellation policy. The CSA is not responsible for your accommodations and meals during the workshop.

The deadline for reserving a hotel room with a special rate is September 28, 2012.

Depending on the number of participants staying at the suggested hotel, a shuttle between the hotel and the John H. Chapman Space Centre may be provided by the CSA.

Hotel located on Montreal's South Shore (near the Canadian Space Agency):

Hôtel Mortagne (10km)
1228 Nobel Street
Boucherville, Quebec J4B 5H1
Telephone: 450-655-9966
Telephone: 1-877-655-9966

The rate for a select room is $155.00 a night.

It is important that you identify yourself using the code 9846 referring to the Canadian Space Agency.

Organizing Committee

  • CSA: Daniel Lévesque, Danièle LaRocque, Denis Laurin, Marcus Dejmek, Martin Lebeuf, Sylvie Béland, Thomas Piekutowski
  • CNES: André Vargas, Didier Vassaux
  • CNRS-France: Claude Camy-Peyret

Contact Us

Danièle LaRocque
John H. Chapman Space Centre
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
Telephone: 450-926-4767
Fax: 450-926-4766

For more information, please contact us at ballon-balloon2012@asc-csa.gc.ca.