Dr. Alan Eustace

University of Central Florida | Engineer

StratEx - A Scuba-like system for Stratospheric Exploration

Pressurized capsules/cockpits are the traditional mechanism to provide communication, telemetry, and life support at very high altitudes. Such systems introduce a lot weight, cost, and complexity. The StratEx project explored whether it is possible to provide all of these vital functions in a self-contained form factor more like traditional scuba diving. The three year development and test program included 5 airplane jumps from 18,000 feet, and 3 balloon jumps, from 57,000, 105,000 and 135,890 feet, setting 3 skydiving world records, including the highest exit altitude. Through photo's and videos, this talk take you through some of the challenges and key milestones of the project.

​Meet Dr. Alan Eustace

Alan Eustace retired as Senior Vice President of Knowledge in April 2015 after 13 years with Google. His lifelong interest in flying, skydiving, and engineering lead him to work with the world-class StratEx team to design, build, and fly, scuba-like system for the exploration of the Stratosphere. In the final test of this system, Alan and the StratEX team set three new skydiving world records, including the highest exit altitude (135,899 feet, 41,422 meters).

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