The GRIS instrument consists of an array of seven coaxial n-Type germanium detectors surrounded by a thick active NaI shield/collimator. Located above this assembly is an active NaI coded-aperture mask for imaging and precise source location. The seven germanium detectors are each enclosed in individual cryostats. This design (rather than a single large multi-detector cryostat) was chosen for two principal reasons: to minimize the internally produced background and for easier replacement of individual detectors, as well as upgrades and modifications.
The instrument is mounted in a gondola offering a conventional azimuth-over-elevation pointing system with a momentum wheel for azimuth control. Coarse pointing control used the earth's magnetic field as a reference. A CID camera was used to image star fields and the sun to obtain an independent and more accurate measure of the absolute pointing direction.
Balloon launched on: 5/7/1992 at 7:37 utc
Launch site: Australian Balloon Launching Station, Alice Springs, Australia
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon SF3-480.10-080-NSCHR-03-ST
Balloon serial number: W39.96-3-08
Flight identification number: 331N
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 5/8/1992 at 8:06 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 24 h
Landing site: 35 miles N of Evremunga, Australia
Observations of the Galactic center, NGC 1068, Vela X-1 and the Crab nebula.
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