Purpose of the flight and payload description

The Balloon-borne Microwave Limb Sounder or BMLS was an instrument developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as part of NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program to perform measurements of the earth's stratosphere. Development of the BMLS was motivated by the need for measurements of stratosphenc ClO which is one of the best indicators of stratosphenc ozone depletion by industrial chlorofluocarbons (CFCs). BMLS was based on an earlier experiment flown on aircrafts for the same purpose and served as a prototype of development of a similar space-based instrument which was launched in 1991 onboard NASA's UARS satellite.

The BMLS consisted of an antenna and optics system, a heterodyne radiometer with three intermediate-frequency output bands, electronic filter banks for spectral analysis, command and data handlin systems, power supply and thermal control systems, and a ground support system. The BMLS mass (including batteries for a 24 hr flight) is about 350 kg and it consumes 300 W power. Additional mass of the gondola required for a solo BMLS flight is ~300 kg.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 2/20/1981 at 15:20 utc
Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Winzen 436.079 m3 (12.70 microns - Stratofilm) - SF344.06-050-NSCHR-09
Balloon serial number: W15.4-2-39
Flight identification number: 1234P
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 2/21/1981 at 1:31 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): F 11 h
Landing site: 5 Miles W Of Newton , Texas, US
Payload weight: 690 kgs

External references

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