Purpose of the flight and payload description

The purpose of the flight was to make temperature measurements at three different levels in the atmosphere at night. Temperature elements were placed on the upper and lower side of a flat surface in order to obtain qualitative data on the effects of terrestrial radiation.

At the base of the balloon were two ballast gondolas and the control instruments. A 6 megacycle pressure telemetering transmitter was suspended below the ballast equipment and a 40 megacycle temperature telemetering equipment was suspended at the end of the load train approximately 100 feet from the balloon.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 3/2/1954 at 1:56 CST
Launch site: University of Minnesota Airport, New Brighton, US  
Balloon launched by: General Mills Inc.
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon General Mills - 251-B (25 ft)
Balloon serial number: 251-B-79
Flight identification number: GMI-1108
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 3/2/1954 at ~ 05:00
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 3 h 30 m

The flight was launched on March 2, 1954 at 0156 CST. The surface temperature was -8ºC, the wind was approximately 8 knots from the north and the sky vas entirely clear.

After launching, the balloon rose to its ceiling of 24,300 ft. and floated at that level for 20 minutes. Following this, ballast was droped and the balloon rose to a new level of 36,700 ft. where it floated for 23 minutes. After this interval, again droped ballast causing the balloon to rise to a final ceiling of 47,750 ft. After floating at that height for another 48 minutes, the flight was terminated and the equipment descended by parachute and touched ground at 5:32 CST.

The ballast drops and the terminations were actuated by an electrical sequence timer.

Temperature readings were taken during the entire flight including a major portion of the descent phase.

External references

  • Temperature measurements in Flight 1108, Report Nº 1280, General Mills, 1954 - Stratocat's private collection

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