Antarctica Launch Site
|Graduated from UT Tyler: May 2003
Degree: Electrical Engineering
Joined CSBF team: June 2005
Juan Perez never dreamed he would use the
skills he learned at UT Tyler as a 2003
electrical engineering graduate to explore the
atmosphere. But he says the real work
happens well before the balloon takes flight.
“Our job is to make sure the instrumentation
is working, functioning and ready for
flight. In the field there shouldn’t be any
adjusting. You should just take it out of
the package and fly it.”
Perez said there can be adjustments and
changes that need to be made at the
launch site, but the systems and instruments
have been through countless checks
and tests in the months leading up to the
big launch day.
He said, as an engineer, he might be at
launch sites like Antarctica or Sweden for
up to two months, depending on conditions.
“It depends on weather and science.
The weather can be a downfall. We need
calm conditions to launch.”
Perez said safety concerns dictate that
launches happen in areas with very low
populations. “You can feel a little isolated
(out in the field),” he said. But members
of the launch team get to know each other
pretty well, he said.