Description of the payload

SALOMON is a balloon-borne UV-visible spectrometer designed, like its predecesor AMON, to acquire vertical profiles of O3, NO2, NO3, OClO and OBrO as well as the extinction coefficient of aerosols, at altitudes between 15 and 40 km. SOLOMON uses a remote measurement technique (remote-sensing) by using the moon as source of light. The pointing system, the pivot and the gondola were developed at the Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement (LPCE), whereas the SAOZ-type spectrometer it carries is the result of joint work with the CNRS Service d'Aéronomie.

The instrument work in automatic mode during flight (including start-up, pointing, spectre acquisition and shut-down). The gondola weighs only 85 kilograms, making both launch and flight easier than with AMON.

Between October 1998 and january 2006, SALOMON performed ten successful flights in mid and high latitude. Since 2007 on it was replaced by an improved version denominated SALOMON-N2.

SALOMON was involved in validation programmes for the ODIN and ENVISAT satellites, as well as in national programmes for measuring nitrogen oxides and stratospheric aerosols.

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome

Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Open balloon model 35SF 35.000 m3
Balloon serial number: 35SF Nº 95
Flight identification number: SSC 214
Campaign: THESEO 2000  
Payload weight: 235 kgs
Gondola weight: 65 kgs

The balloon was launched from ESRANGE on 23 January 2000, at 14:38 UTC by dynamic method assisted by auxiliary balloons.

After a initial ascent phase the balloon achieved the float altitude.

Due to temperatures lower than expected, the trajectory of the balloon differed from the one forcasted, and the flight was stopped only two hours after the launch for safety reasons.

The payload landed in good shape.

During this third flight of SALOMON the observations were performed at the edge of the vortex and for the first time during a Moon rise. Due to the premature end of flight only 14 minutes of data were recorded.

The flight was a success in terms of technological tests since the pointing system found the Moon immediately at an elevation on -4 degrees (tangent point just above the tropopause).

External references and bibliographical sources