Description of the payload

An instrument that collects samples for a range of trace gases in the stratosphere.

It consists of 26 sample tubes immersed in dewar containing liquid neon cryogen. The sample manifold, dewar and control electronics are housed in a gondola that is approximately 1.1 m x 1.1m x 1.9 m, with a gross weight (including cryogen and Communication Interface Package of approximately 335 kg.

The instrument adds additional sample capacity to allow collection of 25-26 samples per profile, compared to 12-16 of current use. Samples are collected only after about one hour at float altitude (100-110 kft), and during controlled descent at approximately 300 ft/min.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 10/5/2003 at 15:24 utc
Launch site: Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 4 mcu ft - SF3-4.001-.8/.8-NAR
Balloon serial number: R4.00-1-25
Flight identification number: 524N
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 10/5/2003 at 21:42 utc
Balloon flight duration (d:days / h:hours / m:minutes): 6 h 56 m
Landing site: 44 miles ENE of Ft.Sumner, New Mexico, US

The balloon was launched on October 5th using the dynamic method assisted by a launch vehicle.

Following a nominal ascent phase, was reached the float altitude. After near five hours of flight the balloon was terminated near the border of Texas.

This was the first sampler deployment flight as an engineering trial. The objectives of this initial test flight were to collect appropriate engineering data, verify computer control and communication, and test sample cylinder materials and treatments for artifacts. On it were successfully retrieved samples, with only one sample lost.

External references