Aura Validation Balloon Campaign, Esrange, Sweden, Feb 2006

The JPL MkIV interferometer will perform a balloon flight from Esrange, Sweden, (67.9N, 21.1E) during February 2006 in order to measure profiles of atmospheric trace gases of relevance to the AURA sensors under cold winter conditions. High signal-to-noise ratio solar occultation spectra will be measured throughout the mid-infrared region (650-5650 cm-1) at high spectral resolution (0.01 cm-1) at sunrise and sunset. These spectra will allow the simultaneous retrieval of profiles of more than 30 different atmospheric gases including O3 and H2O and NO2 which will also be measured by the MLS, HIRDLS and TES instruments on board the AURA spacecraft. On the same dondola is the in situ O3 photometer. A second gondola will be launched supporting the Far Infrared Spectrometer (FIRS-2), and the Stratospheric Limb Sounder (SLS-2).

The total payload weight is 1385 lbs (630 kg). This includes the instruments, gondola, azimuth pointing system, batteries, the NSBF TM/TC system, crush pads, and recovery tools. MkIV is powered by 8 lithium batteries each weighing 11 lbs and providing a capacity of 35 AH at 28 V. The gondola dimensions are 52" x 64" x 82" . It will be launched on a balloon of 12 MCF volume (0.35 M m3), and will reach 35 km float altitude.

Latest Update:

Jan 31, 2006: Campaign cancelled. The vortex suffered a major warming and is now too messed up. Try again next year.

Jan 30, 2006: Took more MkIV sunruns. Balloon trajectory prevents launch tomorrow (too close to populated coastal strip of Gulf of Bothnia).

Jan 27, 2006: Gondola weight 1330 lbs. Includes everything except crush pads (40 lbs) and bottom insulation (15 lbs).

Passed compatibility test. Declared flight ready.

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