Purpose of the flight and payload description

The MINIS balloon campaign was designed to observe dusk-side relativistic electron precipitation events from multiple locations to study spatial extent and variation, north-south conjugacy, and evolution as electrons drift over several hours of local time. It was carried out in January 2005 and consisted of four payloads launched from SANAE station in Antarctica, and two payloads launched from Ft. Churchill, Canada.

The primary instrument was a 3"x 3" NaI scintillator for detecting bremsstrahlung X-rays. The payloads were battery-powered and telemetered data using the Iridium network. Total weight was about 40 kg and was designed to drift for 24 hours following launch from the northern location or near eight days in Antarctica. Spectra from 20 keV to 10 MeV were returned in 208 energy channels every 8 seconds, and count rates in four broad energy channels 20-175 keV, 175-540 keV, 540-825 keV, and 825-1500 keV were recorded at 20 Hz.

Also were included electric and magnetic DC field and VLF wave instruments.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 1/24/2005 at 9:50 utc
Launch site: SANAE, Vesleskarvet, Antarctica  
Balloon launched by: Darmouth College
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 300.000 cuft
Flight identification number: 4S
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 1/27/2005 at 16:00 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 3 d 6 h
Landing site: Last known position 76.6 S, 21.51 W - Not recovered
Payload weight: 60 lbs

External references

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