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© Sébastien CHASTANET / CNES / OMP / IRAP / UT3 / CNRS Images



Identification de la direction du vent à l'aide d'un ballon captif

A tethered balloon is used to identify the wind direction in preparation for the PILOT, CLIMAT and CARMEN/CASOLBA missions at the Alice Springs balloon launch base in Australia. These yellow balloons indicate the wind direction at altitudes of up to 200 m. To maximise the flight altitude and duration, balloon launches for the various missions must be planned to coincide with stratospheric wind inversions. The research team therefore consulted data from satellites, radiosonde balloons and tethered balloons, as shown here, in search of the ideal meteorological conditions. The mission gondolas, lifted by helium-filled balloons, were launched to an altitude of several tens of kilometres in April 2017. Measurements are more economical and simpler to perform using balloons than using satellites. Balloons are able to gather data that would be impossible to collect using ground-based telescopes, as the Earth's atmosphere partially blocks cosmic radiation.

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