Description of the payload

The payload contained Low and High voltage electric field probes, magnetic search coils for a vector B-field measurement, x-ray detectors, one pointing up and one pointing down and two optical lightning detectors, one pointing up and one pointing down.

The main objective of the experiment was to measure electric and magnetic fields, along with x-rays and optical lightning associated with sprites. Sprites are large, brief flashes of light that occur very high in the atmosphere above large thunderstorms.

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome

Launch site: Balloon Launch Sector, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil  
Balloon launched by: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon  
Campaign: SPRITE 2002  

The balloon was launched at 20:40 local time, on March 6th 2003.

After a nominal ascent and initial float flight, the balloon traveled with a higher velocity than predicted, and thus went out of telemetry range quickly.

The last known GPS coordinates were 22.44º S, 312.40º W.

External references and bibliographical sources