Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Marks


Of the 657,000 global balloon launches each year, only 20% of payloads are recovered, leading to unsustainable business and environmental practices. This paper details the development and evaluation of the S.T.A.R. (Stabilization, Trajectory, and Recovery) system, which increases the recovery rate of weather balloon sensors by enabling ideal landing conditions. System testing concludes that S.T.A.R. is capable of housing weather sensors in a fully controllable glider capable of targeted landing. If properly scaled up and redesigned for mass production, the S.T.A.R. system increases weather-sensing equipment recovery for weather-reporting institutions around the world. Although the featured iterations consist of basswood, carbon fiber spars, and 3D-printed parts, future iterations should be made primarily of foam for expedited manufacturing. This additionally allows for a lightweight and uniform cylindrical body to reduce drag.