The National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) is set to participate in a suborbital mission in the stratosphere with Emidds-6, an experimental module for iterative design of satellite subsystems version 6. This will be the first time that IPN is involved in such a mission, and it is scheduled to take off from Antarctica in late December and January. At the invitation of NASA and the National Science Foundation of the United States, IPN will join the mission with its experimental module on a ship departing from McMurdo Air Base in Antarctica.

Led by Mario Alberto Mendoza Barcenas, a researcher at the Center for the Development of Aeronautics (CDA) of IPN, the special mission FI25 with Emidss-6 will involve a trajectory of one revolution around the Earth in 15 days using super-pressure balloons. One of the mission’s goals is to develop instrumentation to identify contaminants, such as microplastics, in the stratosphere and capture altitude-related images during the platform’s ascent to its maximum buoyancy point.

The unique atmospheric circulation pattern over Antarctica allows for a constant altitude over long periods, allowing Emidss-6 to collect and store data to characterize the stratospheric environment in low latitudes using Mexican aerospace technology. The module will record environmental variables through sensors that monitor humidity, temperature, relative humidity, and ultraviolet radiation with commercial grade devices.

In July, Emidss-6 underwent rigorous technical and electromagnetic compatibility assessments by NASA experts to ensure it meets standards. The mission team will include experts from IPN as well as other institutions such as the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technologies and Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Western Institute of Technology and Higher Studies, and Molina Center for Energy and Environment.

By Samantha Johnson

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