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Student in Physical Science Research I at the Bronx High School of Science

2016 Cubes in Space selected project

Bronx, NY

September 2016-June 2017



My team developed a method to use bellows as an airtight seal to trap CO2 from the upper atmosphere


I created a CAD model of my team's cube in SketchUp

The payload was designed to determine whether a small, simple device would be able to measure CO₂ in the upper atmosphere, without being contaminated by CO₂ from lower altitudes. Brass bellows, after testing in a bell jar, were used as a seal for a hole in the top of the cube, and CO₂ indicator strips were placed inside the experimental cube to detect CO₂. 

At ground pressure, the bellows fully covered the hole, preventing CO₂ from entering the cube. When the cube was elevated into the low pressure of the atmosphere, the blocks separated and allowed the CO₂ indicator strips to accurately measure CO₂ in the atmosphere. When the cube was brought back down to the higher pressure earth, the blocks pushed together and resealed the cube from CO₂. Important techniques used in this experiment were 3D printing, CAD, and soldering.



We tested the bellows in a bell jar to determine how they expanded and contracted under pressure differences


The final cube design


The cubes were launched from on a high altitude balloon from the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.


Cubes in Space

The balloon payload ready for launch


Cubes in Space

All of the cubes stored in the payload


Cubes in Space

The high altitude balloon launching from New Mexico

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