Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Koenig, Keith

Committee Member

Kim, Donghoon

Committee Member

Olsen, Gregory

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


The entire contiguous United States experienced a solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017 which passed from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coasts. The path of totality crossed 14 states while other states had partial eclipse. Due to the rarity of this event, it was known as “The Great American Eclipse” and NASA collaborated with 52 universities across the United States to launch weather balloon payloads to record this impactful event. Although Montana State University designed a workshop for all universities involved in order to assist those not experienced in the area, Mississippi State University decided to design our own payload. Our system was designed in order to meet the standards of a 2U CubeSat. One key aspect of our payload is that it is entirely made from 3D printed parts with over 100 prototype parts made over the length of two years. Instead of buying an off the shelf flight computer, we designed and built a custom Hexa-Processor Computer Board which gave us flexibility with the computation needs. A turret was also developed that housed two cameras and could spin 360 degrees, allowing it to counter act the rotations of the payload in order to obtain a stabilized image. The payload was launched in Kentucky and was a successful flight without any damages to the payload.