Timón is a small town in eastern state of Maranhao, northern Brazil and very close to the equator.
This closeness as well the low population in the area, made the site a perfect choice to conduct a stratospheric balloon launch campaign. The first time it was used was in 2004 in a cooperative effort between the French space agency (CNES), and their local peers from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (National Space Research Institute or INPE). Initially the campaign was meant to be carried out in the nearby city of Teresina, located in the state of Piauí, but finally the choice was for the more quiet Timón.
The operations base was mounted in a large an inactive private airfield named Domingos Rego located 3 miles from downtown, on the edge of the BR-316 highway. The logistical operation of the first campaign included the transport from Europe of 25 sea containers, to move nearly 150 tons of instruments and equipment, which were used by nearly 84 scientists and 50 technicians from the participating countries.
At the campaign's start in November were performed two launches, but then, due to bad climate issues, the activity was initially halted and then definitivelly delayed until the next year, so in mid-2005 were performed the remaining flights.
The great success in the development of the campaign in the region and the quality of data obtained in this first series of launches -aside the high local media impact- made to consider the possibility of further improving the infrastructure of the site to be used annually since that area near the ecuador, is of great interest to atmospheric scientists. The discussions about this were initiated by the CNES authorities at the end of the campaign in 2005 when they held a meeting with the Maranhao state government authorities. This interest was later confirmed, in June 2008 when the second campaign took place. This time seven more balloons were launched under an international programme called SCOUT O3.
Despite the interest mentioned above, no other balloon launch campaigns were held there since 2008.
Table of balloons launched from Domingos Rego Airport, Timón
|Date||Hour||Flight Duration||Experiment||Payload landing place or cause of the failure|
|11/29/2004|| ||---||OZONE SAMPLER||--- No Data ---|
|12/2/2004||7:54 utc||6 h 10 m||HASI (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument) - PEASMA||400 km W of launch site, Brazil|
|6/1/2005||23:05 local||15 m||OZONE SAMPLER||3 km from Timón, Maranhao state , Brazil|
|6/4/2005||5:40 local||6 h||OZONE SAMPLER||Near Grajaú, Maranhao state , Brazil|
|6/8/2005||5:46 local||~ 7h||TWIN SAMPLER||W of Barra da Corda, Maranhao state, Brazil|
|6/14/2005||19:53 local||20 h||MIPAS-B2 (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding - Balloonborne) + Mini DOAS||NE of Fortaleza de Nogueiras, Maranhao State, Brazil.|
|6/17/2005||15:27 local||8 h 6 m||LPMA (Limb Profile Monitor of the Atmosphere) + DOAS||Between the cities of Presidente Dutra and Tuntum, Maranhao State, Brazil.|
|6/22/2005||5:55 local||6 h||SPIRALE (Spectroscopie Infra-Rouge par Absorption de Laser Embarqué)||NE of Presidente Dutra city in the Maranhao State, Brazil|
|6/24/2005||6:50 local||---||TRIPLE||Flight aborted. Payload was retrieved from the forest near the launch base.|
|6/25/2005||20:58 local||~ 5 h||TRIPLE||In Esperantinópolis, Maranhao State, Brazil|
|6/30/2005||3:36 local||~ 10 h||LPMA-IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) + REFIR PAD||W of Mirador, Maranhao, Brazil.|
|7/6/2005||6:29 local||~ 5h||SUPERPRESSURE BALLOON TEST||South of Sao Joao dos Poleiros, Maranhao State, Brazil|
|7/7/2005||5:38 local||~ 7 h||CASOLBA (CAlibration de cellules SOLaires sur vol BAllon)||NW of the city of Jose de Freitas in Piauí state, Brazil.|
|7/8/2005||18:14 local||~ 2h||SUPERPRESSURE BALLOON TEST||15 km SW of Timon, Maranhao State, Brazil|
|5/30/2008||10:27||2 h 30 m||OPC (Optical Particle Counter)||Between Altos and Coiva, Piauí, Brazil|
|6/1/2008||9:03||5 h 30 m||TRIPLE (BONBON + HALOX-B + Micro-SDLA)||Near Vargem, Piauí, Brazil|
|6/5/2008||22:23 local||20 h||MIPAS-B2 (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding - Balloonborne) + TELIS (TeraHertz Limb Sounder) + Mini DOAS||Near Gonçalves Dias, Maranhao, Brazil|
|6/9/2008||23:10||7 h||SPIRALE (Spectroscopie Infra-Rouge par Absorption de Laser Embarqué) + STAC||Near Coivaras, Piauí, Brazil|
|6/13/2008||6:17||~ 8h||LPMA-IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer)||Near Caxias, Maranhao, Brazil|
|6/19/2008||18:05||~ 4 h||SALOMON-N2 (Spectroscopie d'Absorption Lunaire pour l'Observation des Minoritaires Ozone et NOx - Nacelle 2)||Near Timon, Maranhao, Brazil|
|6/27/2008||2:22||~ 16h||LPMA (Limb Profile Monitor of the Atmosphere) + DOAS||Near Capinzal do Norte, Maranhao, Brazil|