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Stratos: the Canadian Space Agency Stratospheric Balloon Program


Uploaded on December 13, 2013

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Stratos: the Canadian Space Agency Stratospheric Balloon Program

2013-12-13 - This video explains the Canadian Space Agency's Stratospheric Balloon Program, Stratos, and its benefits to Canada. The images were taken during the first balloon campaign in 2013 that took place in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

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My name is Daniel Lévesque. I'm the Program Manager of the Stratos Program at the Canadian Space Agency. The Stratos Program is the stratospheric balloon program of the Canadian Space Agency. Basically, it consists in offering frequent flight opportunities to the scientific and technological community of Canada.

It started via a collaboration between France and Canada whereby France offers the balloons and Canada offers the mid-latitude launch base out of Timmins in Ontario. In exchange, we get to fly five payloads per year, not only from Canada, but also from anywhere around the world where the CNES flies balloons.

The benefits for Canada are scientific, technological as well as training of the next generation of scientists and engineers.

In terms of science, the balloon allows us to fly a payload for astronomy, for atmospheric science, as well as for Earth observation.

In terms of technology, it will allow our companies to give heritage to their new technology in a near space environment, thereby making them more attractive commercially.

In terms of training of the next generation of scientists and engineers, basically the new program has a development cycle of two to three years, which is in line with the academia. So a student can start developing its payload, fly it, analyse the data within two or three years, thereby giving that student concrete, hands-on experience before they go out on the market.


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