Description of the payload

At the beginning of each launch campaign, the technicians of the balloons division of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) perform an initial launch called "opening flight" which is aimed to test several systems to be used during the rest of the campaign. Sometimes, thes flights can carry also small scientific experiments as "piggy back" payloads.

In this case the flight gondola included an instrument called DUSTER designed to bring back aerosol samples where abundance, size distribution, composition and mineralogy will be measured for each class of materials collected.

A sampling of the stratosphere will invariably include particles from different sources with relative contributions that vary as a function of time, altitude, and possibly geographic location. At any time the stratosphere contains extraterrestrial dust, dust from natural terrestrial sources (volcanic dust, wind-blown dust, biomass burning) and dust related to anthropogenic activities. The dust is collected by direct deposition on both holey-carbon thin films supported by standard Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) grids and other substrates.

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome

Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon  
Campaign: ENVISAT  

External references and bibliographical sources

Images of the mission