Purpose of the flight and payload description

This flight was part of a balloon campaign occurred during the 1985-86 austral summer from Amundsen-Scott Station, South Pole, Antarctica. The campaign was a collaboration between the Space Physics Group of the University of Houston and the University of Maryland. The measurements from the balloons were complemented with ground based data from the South Pole Station Cusp Lab, the Iqaluit conjugate observatory, the Goose Bay HF radar, the Søndrestrøm radar, and satellite data from the DMSP, DE and IMP-8 spacecraft.


This particular balloon flight carried the following detectors:

X-Ray detector that consisted of an uncollimated 7.6 cm-diameter thallium-activated sodium iodide scintillation counter.

Electric Field detector consisting of two orthogonal pairs of electric field probes in the horizontal plane, one probe suspended vertically below the payload and an electronics unit to measure the potential difference between the probes. The horizontal probes were either square plates measuring 30 cm on a side, or hollow spheres measuring 30 cm in diameter. The vertical probe was a 30 cm x 30 cm square plate. Each probe was mounted on a 2.5 m insulating phenolic boom. The probes were made of aluminum and coated with a colloidal carbon suspension called Aquadag.

The balloon payload was connected to the balloon through a rotator by about 50 meters of woven rope. The rotator was used to spin the payload at a nominal rate of 4 rpm. Attached to the payload body were 4 Aquadag-coated aluminum plates used as a reference ground.

Secondary instrumentation on-board measured the stratospheric conductivity, the ambient temperature and pressure. Three of the payloads also included tone-ranging transceivers.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 12/24/1985 at 21:12 utc
Launch site: Amundsen-Scott Station, South Pole  
Balloon launched by: University of Houston
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 5100 m3
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 12/28/1985 at 4:24 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 79 h
Payload weight: 24.5 kgs

External references

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