Purpose of the flight and payload description

The aim of this research -belonging to the field of experimental microphysics in clouds- is to carry out measurements that focus on clouds' ice particles and to study their shape and size, as part of increasing the knowledge on ice clouds and their impact on the climate. The instrument used for the measurements has been developed by Thomas Kuhn of the Lulea Technology University. Inside the device, ice particles are collected on a transparent plastic strip that goes through two different types of cameras that collect and store data.

The experiments are funded by the Swedish National Space Board. Ice particles are collected and photographed from balloons launched from Esrange Space Center, near Kiruna, Sweden. The volumes of the individual particles of ice, and thereby the Ice Water Content (IWC) of the cloud, are determined in subsequent analysis. Thanks to a close collaboration with SSC that operates ESRANGE, five balloon launches are going to be performed annually, until 2016.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 4/4/2012 at 12:09 utc
Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden  
Balloon launched by: Swedish Space Corporation (SSC)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 500 m3
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 4/4/2012 at 13:08 utc

External references

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