Purpose of the flight and payload description

The objective of the SAPHERALLER mission was to transport four different instruments belonging to the Laboratoire Atmosphères et Observations Spatiales (LATMOS) from France.

At left we can see an scheme of the HELIOS gondola used for the flight (click to enlarge). The gondola is made of steel struts and balls with dimensions 2.06m x 1.43m x 1.44m. It's a platform on which the scientific payloads are located on the floor or in the walls. The structure weight alone is 90 kg and could allocate up to 180 kgs of scientific instrumentation of small and medium size that don't require any pointing capability.

The instruments carried onboard this flight were:

BASTA (Bistatic rAdar SysTem for Atmospheric studies) a low-cost 95 GHz Doppler cloud radar with a different approach compared to traditional pulsed radars: instead of transmitting a large amount of energy for a very short time period (as a pulse), a lower amount of energy is transmitted continuously. The radar makes the most of the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) technology. The power reduction is directly associated to a cost reduction.

BeCOOL (Balloonborne Cirrus and convective overshOOt Lidar) a lidar system which detects the presence and altitude of clouds up to 5,000 metres underneath the balloon.

STRATOPART an aerosol collector.

A RADIOMETER intended to perform measurements of radiation fluxes.

Video footage of the pre-launch and launch operations

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 6/12/2024 at 2:32 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 100z Hemeria 100.000 m3
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 6/12/2024 at ~ 7:15 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): ~ 5 h
Landing site: In ESRANGE's Zone B, near the Finish border
Campaign: TRANSAT 2024  

External references

Images of the mission

  Inflation of the auxiliary balloon (Image: CNES)   Release of the balloon (Image: CNES) Return of the payload to ESRANGE (Image: Stephan Louvel, CNES)

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