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



Sortie d'un ballon captif par l'équipe de ballonniers de la campagne Austral, sur le site d'Alice Springs

The team of balloon engineers working on the "Austral" campaign deploy a test balloon at the Alice Springs launch facility in Australia. This base was used to launch the balloons for the PILOT, CLIMAT and CARMEN/CASOLBA missions in April 2017. These gondolas, lifted by helium-filled balloons, were launched to an altitude of several tens of kilometres. To enable this, the research team consulted data from satellites and test balloons in search of the ideal meteorological conditions. To maximise the flight altitude and duration, balloon launches must be planned to coincide with stratospheric wind inversions. 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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