Purpose of the flight and payload description
The objective of the flight was to measure intrinsic frequency spectrum of atmospheric gravity waves in the mid-stratosphere over Hyderabad. Atmospheric gravity waves, are one of the ubiquitous phenomena in the earth's atmosphere. Excited in the lower atmosphere, these waves propagate vertically up and have profound impact on the structure and dynamics of the middle and upper atmosphere.
The experiment consisted in launching a zero-pressure polyethylene (ZP) balloon along with a GPS sonde and let it drift in the horizontal direction in the stratosphere at ~31 km to measure wind, temperature and pressure for about 100 km distance from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research-Balloon Facility (TIFR-BF) at Hyderabad. It was the first time such an experiment was carried out in India.
After this successful flight, TIFR plans to carry out a campaign with long-duration balloon flights and additional payloads along with a communication module to upload data to a geostationary satellite. A preliminary survey to perform such long-duration balloon experiments over the Indian region found that releasing a balloon over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, horizontally drifting the balloon in the mid-stratosphere during the westward phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation could provide a trajectory of about 1.500 km with recovery of the payload in southern India. Such experiments can be useful to obtain additional information on stratospheric gravity waves.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 9/13/2019 at 00:26 ist
Launch site: TIFR National Balloon Facility, Hyderabad, India
Balloon launched by: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 9/13/2019