Description of the payload

An instrument to measure the electromagnetic fields and very low frequency radio emissions associated with the production of visable light emissions above thunderstorms, the so called "SPRITES".

The payload consisted in a three axis broad band electric field and magnetic field detector with sufficient dynamic range and bandwidth to resolve the expected sprite excitation field and to distinguish between ac and dc excitation mechanisms.

A gamma ray spectrometer consisting of a scintillation counter and a pulse height analyzer was also flown.

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome

Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 40.000 m3 - SF3-1.507-.8/0-NHR
Balloon serial number: R1.507-0-03
Flight identification number: 1567P
Campaign: SPRITES 99  

The flight was launched from Palestine, Texas at 1:14 UTC on July 6th, 1999 reaching the float altitude at 3:13 UTC.

After a flight of near 8 hours cutdown command was transmited at 9:45 UTC on the same day.

Flight Performance of all systems was nominal.

This was a engineering flight test before a campaign that involved another two launches.

External references and bibliographical sources