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SSI Overload

So you've joined [1] Slack, maybe gone to a meeting or two, but you're not sure what you can do or what there even is to do with so many teams swirling around? Well you've come to right place! Below are all the projects each team is working on, what skills they utilize or where they're especially looking for help, and who you can contact to jump in! Think of this like a jobs listing page except that the jobs are always available and you apply by poking the person of contact and saying you want the job -- and it's probably yours.

As you can see from the length of this list, there will always be more SSI to do than you will have hours in a day, week, month, or year -- don't feel pressured to overextend yourself! If you have questions, are feeling overwhelmed, or just want to chat with someone, don't hesitate to reach out to a leadership member. SSI exists for, and because of, its members (that's you.) Your sanity, health, and overall well-being always come first.



HABMC has a request list a mile long, but here are a couple highlights. Feel free to slack SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  if you have ideas or questions

  • 3D visualizations using Cesium or Unity
  • Natural Language Processing for the commands module
  • Create a mobile app using React Native
  • Improved RF integrations
  • Overhaul security on websocket connections
  • Navigation algorithms



HABEES (High Altitude Balloon Electrical Engineering Systems) is the the umbrella project for all EE & CS projects outside of ValBal (that is, largely oriented at standard profile balloon launches). Because of this, there is a nearly limitless number of possibilities and projects to pursue within HABEES -- with that said, if you're new to EE or CS, or a veteran, and just generally want some ideas of what you can make, here's a bunch! Contact SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  to discuss working on any of these!

  • HONEY EE -- the primary electronics in HABEES revolve around the HONEY architecture. If you're interested in EE, you can test circuits and/or make PCB's for this architecture and have it fly with other boards. Head over to the HONEY page to understand more about it. Below are some project ideas for circuits/boards you can make for HONEY!
    • Motor/Servo Driver
    • External/Internal Payload Heaters
    • Atmospheric Gas Sensors
    • Wind Sensors
    • SSTV Radio Board
    • WinLink Radio Email Board
    • APRS Radio Board
    • 12V Battery Management System
    • General Purpose Radio Transceiver
    • Camera Board
    • CubeSat Mapping Board
    • Literally anything else
  • HONEY CS -- although there's a lot of electronics in HABEES, they all need some software; and, even better, that software always has room for improvement, so here's some possible projects!
    • Software for tracking something (with motors/servos)
    • Improving filtering/error checking for sensors
    • Compression algorithms for logged & transmitted data
    • Enhancing speed, quality, and throughput of CAN Bus
    • Enhancing TestBench (QueenBee) test software
    • Introducing/Developing radio encoding & decoding schemes
    • Developing forward & reverse error correction for radio links
    • Developing Point-To-Point radar link software


BUZZ is the umbrella subteam for balloons radio projects. It operated as part of HABEES, and works to develop/try/test new radio technologies within balloons. ValBal also develops independent and system-specific radio systems. Some ideas for possible projects, as well as ongoing projects, are below: Talk to SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  and SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  about them!

  • Improved ATV link quality
  • Teensy-native SSTV Transmission & Reception
  • APRS development
  • Native GFSK/FSK/OOK transceivers & software
  • WiFi downlink/uplink (2.4GHz / 5 GHz)
  • Stanford Ground Station (high gain, directional)
  • Portable Field Ground Station
  • Balloons National Ground Station Networ
  • WinLink Global Radio E-Mail
  • Digital Video/Image encoding




Daedalus is our suite of technology development projects. The work done here pushes forwards on our long-term plan for a space shot. Each project will involve some mechanical, electrical, programming and simulations work, so feel free to join any one of them - but each focuses on a different aspect of rocketry.

  • Icarus - Reefed Parachute, Lead: Saylor

Icarus is building a rocket with a reefed parachute - one which changes size during flight to adjust the rocket descent. This project will intimately involve:

    • Mechanics and mechanical engineering - designing, simulating and building a deployment mechanism.
    • Mechanics and aerodynamics - designing the parachute and its aerodynamic properties.
    • Electrical engineering - PCB design, electrical integration and programming. Focus on high reliability and low size & power.
  • Charybdis - Spin Stabilization Contact: William

Charybdis is building a rocket that spins like a rifle bullet, then stops spinning mid-air to deploy parachutes.

    • Mechanical engineering - designing reliable deployment mechanism.
    • Aerodynamics and simulation - designing fin system to create desired spin.

  • Argus - Distributed RF Camera System Lead: John

Argus is building a rocket equipped with a new camera system, allowing us to easily take video (and possibly stream live!) from the interior and exterior of rockets as they fly.

  • Electrical Engineering - circuit board design, electrical integration.
  • Signals - RF & transmission tech.

Competition (IREC/SA Cup)

  • Structures
  • Payload
  • Recovery
  • Avionics, Leads: Sharon, Julea SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}} 
    • Design, implement, and test all the hardware and software that goes into our flight computers
    • Design and manufacture structures for avionics bay and work with other subteams to implement interfaces and integration processes
    • Design and test radio communications system for our rocket to talk to the ground
    • Write software to parse and visualize data, build a protective cooling case for laptops & other electronics so they don't die in the blazing desert heat and dust (yes there's a story here)
  • Launch Operations, Lead: WANTED
    • Work with each subteam to coordinate and prepare launch materials
    • Plan & execute travel and launch logistics
    • Oversee launch procedures, checklists, and go/no calls
    • Many more additional projects for ground support designable around personal interests
  • Simulations



  • Enzymatic DNA Synthesis Methods, Lead: Michael Uttmark SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}} 
    • Test commercial blocking groups for compatibility with Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase
    • Chemically synthesize nucleotides with different reversible blocking groups
    • Characterize and optimize enzymatic DNA synthesis reaction efficiency
    • Research purification methods for synthesized DNA
    • Design and test your own synthesis method!
  • Sequence Verification
  • Microfluidic Device Design
    • Design and program an Electrowetting on Dielectric microfluidic PCB
    • Simulate and test how a microfluidic system would work in microgravity
    • Port our DNA synthesis method to a solid substrate like controlled pore glass or streptavidin-biotin magnetic beads
    • Optimize an integrated microfluidic protocol for DNA synthesis and verification on the electrowetting PCB and on the Beckman Biomek 2000 liquid handling robot in lab
    • Research and test other automated fluid handling methods, like acoustic droplet ejection or optoelectrowetting.
    • Build a system for cooling and temperature control of the device, perhaps using Peltiers
    • Figure out how to power our PCB from a cubesat or other launch vehicle
    • Build testing rigs for DNA synthesis methods that are needed for experiments in lab




  • Come up with a theme for Special Dinner and make decorations (like a model Falcon 9!)
  • Help SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  run SSI general dinners
  • Plan and run general community events like Trivia Night, Pathfinder, and Movie Night


  • Build connections with engineering diversity groups on campus
  • Help SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  run workshops


  • Find an interesting company and arrange a tour or talk
  • Help handle logistics of an existing talk, like by meeting an astronaut and walking him to Durand 450
  • Give a CEO or Venture Capitalist a tour of ESIII


  • Complete reimbursements
  • Apply for grants & seek out new sponsors


  • Design awesome swag (t-shirts, jackets, posters)
  • Reach out to reporters
  • Social media guru! (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts)
  • Creating Snapchat filters for events
  • Designing flyers for upcoming talks
  • Going on launches to take pictures and videos


  • Start discussions with local highschools and their science clubs
  • Organize or join an existing trip to a local school


  • Pursue a sponsorship (we'll walk you through how!)
  • Compile a list of bay-area aerospace companies


  • Overhaul the budgeting system
  • Give the sponsors page dynamic content
  • Manage this very wiki
  • Manage our public and internal websites


  • Make space-themed artwork to decorate ESIII
  • Plant more herbs
  • Paint a mural
  • Track inventory of supplies and parts