Purpose of the flight and payload description

CLIMAT (french acronym for "Combination of Lasers and In-situ instrument for Measurements in the earths ATmosphere") was a multi-payload mission which transported several instruments onboard from French and European laboratories with the aim to study chemistry and physics of the atmosphere. All these instruments were mounted on a platform denominated CASOLBA (CAlibration de cellules SOLaires sur vol BAllon french for Balloon-Borne Solar Cell Calibration) which was developed in 1975 by CNES to transport a module containing solar cells to be calibrated to be used in different projects, which was reconverted to serve other tasks.

The instruments carried onboard the gondola were three laser diode spectrometers denominated PicoSDLA that measured gas concentrations (one CH4, other CO2 and the third H2O) developed by the University of Reims; two units of AIRCORE-light, built by the University of Frankfurt in Germany aimed to measure greenhouse gases; AirCore-HR: A high-resolution column measurement instrument to study the vertical distribution of CO2 and CH4 (LMD and Reims); two units of AMULSE an ultra light spectrometer to perform atmospheric measurements of CO2 and CH4 developed by Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique (GSMA) and Sawfphy aimed to trace the water vapour concentration (LMD).

As we can see in the figure at left, most of the instruments were located inside the gondola. Only Pico-SDLA H2O and H2O Strat modules were respectively placed at the end of a strap 5 to 7 meters below the platform and in a horizontal boom fixed in the walls of the structure.

Video of the launch operations and ascent of the balloon

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 8/23/2015 at 00:18 utc
Launch site: Timmins Stratospheric Balloon Base, Ontario, Canada  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 100z Zodiac - 100.000 m3
Flight identification number: NIMBUS-1
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/23/2015
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 10 h 21 m
Landing site: 141 km WNW of Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Campaign: STRATO SCIENCE 2015  
Payload weight: 280 kg
Overall weight: 1214 kg

External references

Images of the mission


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