Description of the payload
The payload consisted basically in a video camera to record optical lightning to record luminous phenomena associated with sprites. Sprites are large, brief flashes of light that occur very high in the atmosphere above large thunderstorms.
Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome
Launch site: Federal University of Santa Maria campus, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Balloon launched by: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon
Campaign: SPRITE II
The balloon was succesfully launched at 22:02 local time on March 17th, 2006 by dynamic method (hand launched).
After a nominal ascent phase the balloon reached float altitude and started a flight path due to west. After the first half hour of flight the telemetry system failed, preventing ground control to receive the localization information transmited by the onboard GPS, so the path of the balloon is unknown. Previsions of displacement sugered a landing of the payload -not yet recovered- in the west of the Rio Grande do Sul state near the Alegrete city, after a flight of near 10 hours.
During this flight were obtained good sprites measurements along with similar measurements made from the ground.
External references and bibliographical sources
Images of the mission