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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 CARMEN/CASOLBA flight at the Alice Springs balloon launch base in Australia. 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. CARMEN (ChARacterisation and Modelling of the Environment) is a gondola designed to carry a modular payload of scientific instruments, suspended from a stratospheric balloon. It eliminates the need to develop dedicated gondolas (designed specifically for a particular instrument and as such, impractical to reuse). CASOLBA was installed in CARMEN for the Austral campaign of April 2017. The CASOLBA (CALibration of SOLar cells for BAlloon flight) mission payload consists of 60 photovoltaic solar cells. The aim of the mission is to calibrate the cells in real-life, quasi-space conditions. The cells will serve as primary calibration standards, from which to produce secondary standards that will in turn be used by manufacturers of solar cells intended for satellites.

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