The Stratospheric Ballooning Association hosts conferences that promote our mission in supporting those that are engaged in high altitude ballooning and other stratospheric activities.  Our annual conference is the Academic High Altitude Conference (AHAC) that is held each year.  Information on AHAC and any other conference will be updated on this page.

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AHAC 2017

When:  October 27th and 28th 2017 (Friday and Saturday)

Where:  University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)


We have a hotel room block for non-smoking rooms with two double beds in each at the Days Hotel on University for $99 per night (plus tax).  A limited number of roll-away beds are also available for $10 per night – inquire directly about those.  When you contact them at 612-623-3999 to make reservations, ask for the “Academic High Altitude Conference 2017” room block. This room block will expire on Sept. 26, 2017, so don’t delay to reserve the room(s) you need. Breakfast is included.


There is free parking at the hotel, if you have a car. But the hotel is easy to reach by light rail train from the airport and all venues for AHAC 2017 are within walking distance of the hotel, so if you are flying in you really don’t need a rental car. (Even if driving, you’ll probably just want to leave your car at the hotel while the conference is in session.) To get to the hotel from the airport, take a Blue Line train toward Minneapolis, get off at U.S. Bank Stadium, cross the tracks and catch a Green Line train toward St. Paul, then get off at Stadium Village. The Days Hotel University is immediately to the east of that station. Campus is immediately to the west, so you will be walking past that light rail station as you go to AHAC 2017 venues.

Additional information and more details about conference venues will be posted later.

Conference Topics

For 2017 the theme for this year’s conference will be the solar eclipse.  However, the following general topics are accepted at all conferences as well.

  • High Altitude Ballooning and Education
    • University level
    • High School level
    • Elementary/middle school level
    • STEM Outreach
  • High Altitude Ballooning Operation Techniques and Practices
    • FAA Rules and Regulations
    • Launch Procedures
    • Flight Procedures
    • Recovery Procedures
  • High Altitude Ballooning Engineering Design and Implementation
    • Payload Engineering
      • Tracking systems
      • Command and Control
      • Data recording
      • Embedded Processor Systems
  • Launch Equipment and Engineering
  • Flight and Mission Control Equipment and Engineering
    • Antenna Tracking
    • Communication Equipment
    • Tracking Software
    • Prediction Software
    • Command and Control Software
  • Recovery Equipment and Engineering
    • Mobile equipment
    • Mobile Software
  • High Altitude Ballooning in Scientific and Research Applications
    • Scientific Research
      • Biological
      • Atmospheric
    • Near Space Research

Other topics may be allowed as well as long as it fits the mission of the SBA.