Purpose of the flight and payload description

Project Mogul was a top secret project carried out by the US Army Air Forces involving the launch of stratospheric balloons carrying sensitive microphones, whose primary purpose was long-distance detection of sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests. The project was carried out from 1947 until early 1949. The project was moderately successful, but was very expensive and ultimatelly was replaced by a network of seismic detectors and air sampling for fallout.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 4/18/1947
Launch site: Lehigh University, Bethelem, Pennsylvania  
Balloon launched by: University of New York
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Balloon Tandem Tandem (23 x 350gr)
Flight identification number: NYU 2
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 4/18/1947
Landing site: No flight. Telemetry failure

In early April 1947, the British military prepared to destroy with explosives German naval installations on Helgoland, an island in the North Sea on which would become one of the biggest non-nuclear man-made explosions. In preparation for monitoring the acoustic signal produced by the blast, during that month, the New York University group performed a series of balloon launches from the football field at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

This was the second flight attempt of the series. The payload consisted of the MOGUL project Sonobuoy, radar targets, radiosonde and sand-based ballast system. It was intended to be launched on 18 April to attempt to monitor the Helgoland explosion, but after the balloons were inflated, the launch was canceled because of high winds and the malfunction of the telemetry receiver in the airplane that was to track the balloons. The balloons were released alone and the instruments were took back to NYU.

External references

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