A team from the Michigan eXploration Lab at the University of Michigan imaging the eclipse from the stratosphere.

Our Plans for the April Eclipse

MXL’s team is one of the groups being graciously hosted by Taylor University in Upland, Indiana for the total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024! The team will travel to Indiana the day before to set up their equipment before launching their system about an hour prior to the eclipse during what will be a spectacular event to witness. This will be the culmination of almost a full year of hard work, and the team is excited to test their systems and display their work!

We hope to be able to livestream footage from our on-board cameras! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel which is where the livestream will be hosted.

Want to learn more about our launch, even how to track us over a HAM radio? Click here!

Our balloon will be transmitting APRS packets! You can follow our balloon's progress by tuning your HAM radio to 144.39MHz. Our callsign is KF6RFX-1. We'll also be transmitting on a back-up tracker in case our first one goes out, over 144.35 with callsign KF6RFX-2.

Our estimated flight time is ~2hrs. Here's a predicted flight path for our balloon:

Who are we?

Michigan eXploration Laboratory (MXL) is a CubeSat research and development lab at the University of Michigan. Since Summer 2023, a group of 15 students in MXL’s high-altitude ballooning division have been working on a project to launch a balloon into the stratosphere during the April 2024 solar eclipse. Their goals include detecting atmospheric disturbances that may occur due eclipse, as well as live-streaming video footage of this incredible phenomenon.

The project is being done through the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP), a NASA-funded educational initiative organized by Montana State University. U-M is one of 53 teams taking part in this collaborative effort.

Our System

The team has a set of payloads attached to the balloon composed of both NEBP-provided and custom hardware:

The team uses a ground station consisting of two dish antennas to collect live telemetry and video data. These antennas automatically adjust themselves during flight to point at the balloon!


NEBP's flights do not happen without the countless hours of our members. Here are the people that have lead the team to the April eclipse.

Dr. James Cutler

Principle Investigator (PI)

Mari Battaglia

Strato NEBP Chief Engineer

Caitlin Martinez

MXL Strato NEBP Leadership

Ayush Pujara

MXL Strato NEBP Leadership


The team is grateful to Montana State University for the opportunity to participate in this program, and to our partners at SpaceX for their generous support. The team is additionally grateful to NASA for their support in materials and resources for this flight. A big thank you as well to the University of Maine for training and engineering support.