Purpose of the flight and payload description
The gamma-ray detector was composed by a 4 inch-diameter by 2-inch-thick NaI(Tl) crystal viewed by an RCA 8054 phototube. Collimation is provided by a 10-inch-diameter by 12-inch-long NaI(Tl) well scintillator that surrounds the central crystal. It is viewed by six 8054 tubes. The summed output of the six tubes is connected in anticoincidence with the central photomultiplier output. Also connected in anticoincidence with the central phototube are three tubes that view a 1/2 inch thick plastic scintillator covering the aperture of the well. The instrument is maintained at a constant 80° F temperature by thermostatically controlled heaters in order that the effects of temperature changes on the detector be minimized. The half-flux angle for a point gamma source is approximately 12° from the axis. The energy resolution of the detector is 9.2 per cent full width half-maximum at 511 keV.
A 128 channe| balloon-borne pulse-height analyzer accepts gamma radiation between 35 keV and 560 keV, with all photons in excess of 560 keV counted in one integral channel. The output of the analyzer is digitalIy telemetered to receiving stations on the ground. Housekeeping data (battery voltages, high-voltage monitors, state-of-pressurization indicators, and heater status) are telemetered separately by the FM/FM system. The gamma-ray detector is equatorially mounted with a geomagnetically oriented azimuth servo system. A clock drive-gear arrangement is used for tracking celestial sources in hour ang|e. Pointing-system accuracy has been checked by cameras mounted on the detector which periodically photograph the Sun's position. The system points to an accuracy of 1º.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 6/4/1967 at 6:15 cdt
Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US
Balloon launched by: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Winzen 10.600.000 cuft (0.7 MIL.)
Balloon serial number: SF 305.86-070-NSC/06 Serial Nº 131
Flight identification number: 307P
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 6/4/1967 at 16:43 cdt
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 11 h 15 m
Landing site: 17 miles ESE of Cisco, Texas, US
Payload weight: 1.139 lbs
The balloon was launched from Palestine, Texas at 6:15 CDT, on 4 June 1967 and reached ceiling at approximately 9:00 CDT. The pressure altitude, as indicated by a photobarograph, varied between 3.65 mb. and 3.35 mb. during the 7-3/4 hours that the balloon floated at ceiling. Termination occurred by radio command at 16:34 CDT and the payload landed 17 miles ESE of Cisco, Texas.
Postal cover issued on launch day commemorating the flight
- Atmospheric gamma radiation Master's Thesis by Stephen W. Glenn, Rice University, 1969
- Measurement of Gamma-radiation from the Crab Nebula PH.D. Thesis by Ellis, Darwin Vincent, Pice University (1968)
- NCAR Scientific Balloon Facility Annual Report, 1967 National Center for Atmospheric Research, January 1968
- Balloon Flight Record and Scheduled Balloon Flights No. 24, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Summer 1967 - StratoCat's private collection
- Observation of Gamma Radiation from the Crab Nebula Astrophysical Journal, vol. 151, p.L9
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