Purpose of the flight and payload description

HEMERA is a Research Infrastructure funded by the Horizon 2020 framework Programme of the European Union which integrates a large starting community in the field of tropospheric and stratospheric balloon-borne research, to make existing balloon facilities available to all scientific teams in the European Union, Canada and associated countries. The complementary of the HEMERA members capabilities in the field of balloon systems and operations will offer an easy and enhanced service to the scientific community. A wide range of scientific and technical themes are addressed, such as astronomy, atmospheric physics and chemistry, climate research, fundamental physics, biology, space research and technology.

The HEMERA project sets up a large consortium dealing with balloon-borne research, that will encompass 13 partners from seven countries including space agencies, balloon companies and scientists from the atmospheric sciences, astronomy and astrophysics communities.

The payload whose scheme we can see at left, was composed by several experiments which were acomodated in a TWIN gondola, a lightweight unpointed framed structure with dimensions 2,6 meters wide by 4 meters long by 2,2 meters height with a full loaded total mass of 320 kg.

The instruments were:

Four AIRCORE modules developed by the University of Frankfurt (Germany) and University of Groningen (Netherlands) to measure greenhouse gases by air coring

One MEGA-AIRCORE instrument provided by the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom)

One LISA sampler from University of Groningen to obtain samples of CO2, CH4 and CO

One CRYOGENIC AIR SAMPLER from University of Frankfurt aimed to obtain values of Ozone and sulfur concentration in the atmosphere

Two PICO-SDLA an IR spectrometer aimed to measure concentrations of C02/CH4 provided by GSMA of Reims & DT-INSU (France)

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 8/12/2021 at 21:18 utc
Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 150z 150.000 m3
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/12/2021
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 5 h 39 m
Campaign: KLIMAT 2021  

The balloon was launched by auxiliary balloon method at 21:18 utc on August 12, 2021. The flight developed with a first ceiling at 33 km altitude from 2 to 6 hours, followed by a slow descent to 19 km, and a new ceiling between 2 and 6 hours before separation.

After a trajectory of 70 km, the point of separation was 1.2 km from the pre-flight simulation, and the landing point was only 1.8 km from the forecasted one, a new precision record for CNES balloon operations.

External references

Images of the mission

Moving the TWIN gondola from the integration hall to the launch pad. The twin gondola in the launch pad (Image Romain Gaboriaud for CNES)   Launch of the balloon (Image Romain Gaboriaud for CNES) Return of the payload less than three hours after landing

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