Accurate Solar Cell Primaries & Technology Comparisons On Demand

Small Balloons

Sun-pointed Lightweight Balloon Gondola Streamlines Flights

The conventional method of generating solar simulator calibration standards, or primaries, is to subject space-grade solar cells to real sunlight at very high altitudes. Traditionally, solar cell primaries were generated using aircraft or large, zero-pressure balloons. Aircraft flights incur high costs and cannot reach above the ozone layer. Large balloons are extremely expensive, difficult to launch and time-consuming. Our small, high-altitude balloon flights address these issues by providing robust, accurate and reliable data with on-demand cell turnarounds.

Angstrom Designs

Small, High-altitude Balloons Fast-track the Process

Compared to conventional methods, our high-altitude balloon flights enable AM0 solar cell calibrations at lower costs and with quicker turnaround times.

Our ultra-light small balloons platform can achieve altitudes up to 125,000 feet (38.1 kilometers). It carries a highly configurable, high-capacity payload plate that can securely house a wide variety of solar cells. The payload is capable of automatic pitch and yaw adjustments, consistently keeping the samples pointed toward the sun to gather accurate measurements. Flight logistics are simple, the balloons launch out of the Mojave desert — a short two -hour drive from Angstrom Designs headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA.

Angstrom Designs

Real-time Flight Management

The gondola features redundant GPS and satellite tracking systems to ensure highly reliable flight-tracking and customer payload safety. Its abundant telemetry capabilities consistently communicate its position and other real-time flight data to the ground crew. Remote computers monitor the flight and continually run landing predictions, allowing the chase car to be at the landing site by the time the gondola arrives — enabling smooth and safe payload recoveries.

Hassle-free From Start To Finish

We’re licensed to use and manufacture the Aerospace Measurement Unit (AMU), which has proven its reliability in making solar cell measurements. We can provide all necessary hardware, including cell holders, baffles and IV measurement hardware. Simply mount your cells to the holders and then return them to us. When your flight is completed, we give you a data package that contains both raw and corrected measurement data and telemetry spanning the duration of the flight.

Contact us for more information or to receive a flight quotation.

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Angstrom Designs

We are pushing the envelope with space-grade solar cell research and development. Thanks to our advanced technology and experienced team, we deliver high-quality, consistent and data-driven results.


Angstrom Designs is an R&D, instrumentation, test and measurement company focused on space-grade photovoltaic power.


32 East Haley St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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