Purpose of the flight and payload description

This balloon flight was aimed to test the Revolutionary Imaging Technology (RIT) sparse aperture imaging digital cameras in a high altitude balloon experiment. The payload consisted of a set of pressure vessels containing the RIT cameras and computer electronics.

The RIT program was created to transition ground-based sparse-aperture optical imaging systems used for astronomy to space-based sparse-aperture imaging systems used for reconnaissance. The program envisioned a step-by-step demonstration process involving laboratory tests, ground-based experiments, low-altitude airship experiments, high-altitude balloon experiments, leading to a LEO demonstration satellite and potential for ultimate GEO implementation.

The program was in charge of Research Support Instruments (fromerly known as Visidyne) that designed, developed, and operated the RIT sparse-aperture testbed.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 10/0/2001
Launch site: Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo, New Mexico, US  
Balloon launched by: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 6.000.000 cuft
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 10/0/2001

External references

Images of the mission


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