Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Status update from the PI

BARREL Status Report #11
August 19, 2015

Payload 3C was terminated on August 18 at 0333 UT. As expected, the balloon started to drop in altitude after sunset. As the sun rose a few hours later, it began to heat the balloon. We hoped the balloon would rise again as happened during our late-season Antarctic flights. It was a real nail-biter, but alas, the balloon was low enough that the cooling due to the surrounding air won the battle over solar heating; it continued to sink and had to be cut down. Thanks to the Esrange ops team for giving it a fair chance to pull through!  It was a bit heartbreaking to see the balloon come down but I will say that it was a fantastic flight and our longest yet. The payload came down very close to Kiruna about 2 km from a road, so was recovered in excellent condition today. 

Payload 3D was launched this morning, August 19 at 6:02 UT. Unfortunately, the balloon was drifting too far north and close to a large town in Norway. So, it was terminated at 12:50 UT. Despite the short flight, very intense precipitation was detected for several hours.  

The next launch attempt is planned for Friday morning.