Purpose of the flight and payload description

It is a UV-visible spectrometer able to provide vertical profiles of O3, NO2, OClO, BrO and H2O by solar occultation during ascent of the balloon (or descent) and from float at 30 km during sunset (or sunrise). The balloon version of the SAOZ instrument is very similar to the one used for ground-based measurements of total ozone and NO2.

It is composed by a commercial flat field, 360mm, holographic grating spectrometer equipped with a 1024-diode linear array and an entrance slit of 50 µm. A simple conical mirror replaces the gondola orientation or sun tracker systems generally used on large balloon platforms and is driven by an on-board computer, connected to a PTU (Pressure, Temperature and Humidity) sensor, a GPS (Global Positioning system ) for the localisation (Altitude, latitude and longitude) and an Argos transmitter for the recovery of the payload after cut-down and descent under parachute.

At left can be seen a picture of the standard package (click to enlarge).The weight of the instrument is 20 Kg and is contained in a insulated box with only a small aperture in the top for capture the solar rays. It's currently flown in three configurations, SaOZ-Standard, SAOZ-BrO and SAOZ-H2O each tuned to a different wavelength for measurements of different atmospheric constituents.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 8/24/2004 at 17:10 CST
Launch site: Scientific Instrumentation Ltd Balloon Launch Facility, Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada  
Balloon launched by: Scientific Instrument Limited
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 330.000 cuft
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/24/2004
Landing site: Near Vonda, Saskatchewan
Campaign: MANTRA  

The balloon was successfully launched on August 24 at 17:10 local time. Together was launched also an ozonesonde and a GPS.

The flight details are:

- Balloon achieved 20 km altitude at 01:11 UT (19:11 local time)
- Balloon achieve float altitude of 38100m at 02:10 UT (20:10 loc)
- Flight cut down: 02:59 UT,
- Landing: 03:34 UT

The instruments were recovered on the next morning and were all in excellent status.

External references

Images of the mission

View of the flight line. In the foreground the SAOZ instrument balloon inflation Launch    

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