Purpose of the flight and payload description

The AGLAE 83 experiment was the last iteration of the AGLAE program established in the fall of 1974 to measure the far-infrared emission of cold matter in our galaxy, the existence of which had been predicted by Guy Serra from the gamma-ray data of the European satellite COSB. It was a development of the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements (CESR) with the collaboration of the Observatory of Paris, Meudon and the Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires (CEN), Saclay.

The optics of the instrument was composed of two identical systems (two wavelength channels) defined by reststrahlen filters connected to two identical Cassegrain telescopes with a focal length of 77 cm and whose spherical primary mirror, gilded, has a diameter of 14 cm. Both telescopes were parallel and pointed at a fixed elevation of 20º. In each channel, reflection filters defined the wavelength bandwidth with the nominal values of 114-196 microns and 71-95 microns. Behind the filters, a spherical mirror focused the IR beam onto gallium-doped germanium bolometers. All these elements were located on the cold plate of a cryostat cooled using liquid-helium.

The detectors' output signals were amplified by low noise preamplifiers located on the wall of the cryostat. The sampling and 12 bit digitization was performed on board. The whole gondola was continuously rotating at a constant angular velocity of about 2RPM. In order to cover large wings on both sides of the galactic plane, and to provide good zero level for the absolute reference of the emission, a 360° azimuthal rotation on the sky of the experiment beams was adopted.

The knowledge of the direction viewed by the telescopes was obtained 32 times per turn with a monitoring magnetometer locked onto the earth's magnetic field. The digitized scientific and housekeeping data were then transmitted to the ground in real time by PCM telemetry.

AGLAE was the precursor of another instrument denominated AROME developed also by the same scientific group in late 1980's.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 11/1/1983 at 6:30
Launch site: Nelson Garófalo State Airport , Sao Manuel, Brazil  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Winzen 12.400.000 cuft (0.5 Mils - Caps. 0.6 + 0.5 Mils - Stratofilm)
Balloon serial number: 319.33-0.5-NSCHR 0.6+0.5 Caps. SN:8
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 11/1/1983 at 18:30
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 14 h
Landing site: Near Leopoldina, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Payload weight: 1283 lbs

During the flight, new observations were made of the emission of the galactic disc in the submilimiter range.

External references

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