BBC, short for Balloon-Borne Chirpsounder is a technology demonstrator for studying the ionosphere developed at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The ionosphere is the part of the upper atmosphere that is electrically charged by the Sun. This sea of charged particles undergoes constant changes, shrinking and swelling in response to both Earth's weather from below and the Sun's activity from above. BBC sends radio signals up into the ionosphere and measure how the radio signals ping off and through the ionosphere before bouncing back to its detectors. In a manner mimicking echolocation, BBC's measurements can be used to determine the density and height of this part of the atmosphere, where changes can interfere with communications systems, like radio and GPS. Technology tested during this balloon flight would be adapted for future spaceflight.
Balloon launched on: 5/4/2021 at 17:30 utc
Launch site: Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US
Balloon launched by: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon
Flight identification number: 709N
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 5/5/2021 at (L) 00:48 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 7 h 20 m
Landing site: In Torrance County, New Mexico, US
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