Author Topic: Super Pressure Balloon  (Read 8659 times)

Online catdlr

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Super Pressure Balloon
« on: 03/26/2015 04:42 PM »
Super Pressure Balloon launch

Published on Mar 16, 2015
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility
A NASA super pressure balloon lift-offs for a technology test from Sweden in September 2012. NASA’s scientific balloons offer low-cost, near-space access for scientific payloads weighing up to 8,000 pounds for conducting scientific investigations in fields such as astrophysics, heliophysics and atmospheric research.

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #1 on: 03/26/2015 04:43 PM »
Super Pressure Balloon File Footage

Published on Mar 26, 2015
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility
File footage of a super pressure balloon flight. Sweden, 2012. NASA’s scientific balloons offer low-cost, near-space access for scientific payloads weighing up to 8,000 pounds for conducting scientific investigations in fields such as astrophysics, heliophysics and atmospheric research. NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia manages the agency’s scientific balloon program with 10 to 15 flights each year from launch sites worldwide.

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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #2 on: 03/27/2015 03:27 AM »
Not one of NASA's finest moment.



Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #3 on: 03/27/2015 06:18 PM »
LIFT-OFF! NZ Super Pressure Balloon launch

Published on Mar 27, 2015
Liftoff! NASA balloon to fly around the globe, validate technology

WANAKA, New Zealand – A NASA super pressure balloon launched at 10:12 a.m. March 27 (5:12 p.m. EDT March 26) from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, on a journey that will significantly expand the envelope for conducting near-space scientific investigations.

Flight managers seek to break the current SPB flight duration record of 54 days while maintaining a constant float altitude. NASA expects the SPB to circumnavigate the globe once every one to three weeks, depending on wind speeds in the stratosphere.

Maintaining a constant float altitude in the stratosphere is a formidable challenge for airborne systems, including balloons. Most standard heavy-lift zero pressure balloons can vary in altitudes as great as 45,000 feet (13.7 km) due to the alternating warming and cooling of the day and night cycle. In response, mission operators typically release excess weight in the form of ballast to maintain altitude. However, the SPB is designed to maintain a positive internal pressure and shape irrespective of its environment, which keeps the balloon at a constant float altitude. Put another way, in much the same way a car tire pressure changes based on the environment around it while maintaining its volume, so does the SPB.

The science and engineering communities have previously identified long-duration balloon flights at constant altitudes as playing an important role in providing inexpensive access to the near-space environment for science and technology. The SPB can carry a payload weighing several tons to an altitude above 99.5 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Orbital ATK supported NASA’s scientific balloon launch through program management, mission planning, engineering services and field operations. The program is executed from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Palestine, Texas. The Columbia team has launched more than 1,700 scientific balloons in over 35 years of operation. The launch marks the first achievement for Orbital ATK in scientific balloon operations since NASA awarded the contract to the company in November 2014.

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia manages the agency’s scientific balloon program with 10 to 15 flights each year from launch sites worldwide.

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #4 on: 08/20/2015 08:42 PM »
B-Line to Space: Scientific Ballooning Story

Published on Sep 3, 2015
B-Line to Space: The Scientific Ballooning Story is about NASA's Scientific Balloon program, managed through NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.




edited: Updated with new link.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2015 04:41 PM by catdlr »
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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #5 on: 03/17/2016 11:17 PM »
Super Balloon: A 2-ton box for a 2.5-ton balloon

Published on Mar 17, 2016
NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility technicians began the process of processing a super pressure balloon Thursday, March 17, 2016, in preparations for launch from Wanaka, New Zealand. The team is working to be flight ready by April 1.

While the first step seemed simple enough—placing the shipping crate containing the balloon on a flatbed trailer—with the balloon weighing in at 5,241 pounds (2,377 kg) and the shipping crate itself coming in at just under two tons (3,935 pounds or 1,785 kg)—the exercise was anything but.

The container is lined with steel plates to protect the balloon inside, a lesson learned from past missions. The balloon itself represents a significant investment at $1.3 million, thus the added precautions during processing.

The team set to work on lifting and placing the box on the trailer, as seen in this time lapse video. Now that the lift is complete, the team can now open the crate to access the top and bottom fittings on the balloon to begin processing.

« Last Edit: 03/17/2016 11:17 PM by catdlr »
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Offline Damon Hill

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #6 on: 03/18/2016 05:57 AM »
The balloon itself weighs >that< much?


--Damon, quite boggled

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #7 on: 03/22/2016 02:09 AM »
Balloon Technicians Continue New Zealand Launch Preparations

 Published on Mar 21, 2016
NASA’s scientific balloon technicians join the base fitting of a Super Pressure Balloon to a payload parachute during flight preparations March 21, 2016, in Wanaka, New Zealand. After making the connection, technicians worked to verify power and signal cables were aligned and properly connected. NASA's balloon team is on-site in Wanaka preparing for an April 1, 2016, launch with the goal of flying for up to 100 days.


 
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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #8 on: 03/30/2016 11:35 PM »
NASA scientific balloon to launch from Wanaka, NZ

Published on Mar 30, 2016
NASA is preparing to launch a massive balloon from Wanaka, New Zealand.

« Last Edit: 04/06/2016 01:24 AM by catdlr »
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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #9 on: 03/31/2016 01:01 AM »
Balloon Gondola Compatibility Test Rollout

By: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

Published on Mar 30, 2016
Technicians with NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) reached a major milestone Wednesday, March 30, after successfully completing an instrument compatibility test in preparation for launching a super pressure balloon from Wanaka, New Zealand.

« Last Edit: 04/06/2016 12:58 AM by catdlr »
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Offline Retired Downrange

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #10 on: 03/31/2016 01:06 AM »
At the Wallops website:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home

I see they list a Ustream Chanel but I see no indication that the Balloon launch will be live streamed.

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #11 on: 03/31/2016 03:13 AM »
Weather delays launch

NASA has announced it will delay Friday's much anticipated super pressure balloon launch in Wanaka.

Friday was scheduled as the first possible lift-off day but a media notice from NASA and the Queenstown Airport Corporation today says the forecast wind and rain on Friday and Saturday are not conducive for launching.

NASA officials will continue to assess weather conditions for a potential launch attempt on Sunday and a notice will be sent to local media outlets and posted online and to social media before 2pm on Saturday.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/78392556/wanakas-weekend-weather-forecast-keeps-nasa-balloon-on-ground-for-now
« Last Edit: 03/31/2016 03:15 AM by Retired Downrange »

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #12 on: 04/07/2016 02:35 AM »
Balloon Payload: Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI)

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

Published on Apr 6, 2016
The Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), designed to detect high energy gamma rays, is also an invaluable tool for studying black holes, neutron stars and gamma ray bursts. Principal Investigator Dr. Steven Boggs, University of California-Berkeley, says there is still plenty to be learned about these very high energy, exotic objects in our galaxy. COSI is flying on a super pressure balloon launching from Wanaka, New Zealand, in April 2016.

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #13 on: 05/17/2016 07:05 PM »
NASA Launches Super Pressure Balloon from Wanaka, New Zealand

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

Published on May 17, 2016
NASA successfully launched a super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, at 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, (7:35 p.m. EDT Monday, May 16) on a potentially record-breaking, around-the-world test flight.

The purpose of the flight is to test and validate the SPB technology with the goal of long-duration flight (100+ days) at mid-latitudes. In addition, the gondola is carrying the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) gamma-ray telescope as a mission of opportunity.

The science and engineering communities have previously identified long-duration balloon flights at constant altitudes as playing an important role in providing inexpensive access to the near-space environment for science and technology. The current record for a NASA super pressure balloon flight is 54 days

As the balloon travels around the Earth, it may be visible from the ground, particularly at sunrise and sunset, to those who live in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes, such as Argentina and South Africa.

Anyone may track the progress of the flight, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at:
http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/newzealand/wanaka.htm

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #14 on: 05/18/2016 07:24 PM »
NASA Launches Super-Pressure Balloon

NASA Goddard

Published on May 18, 2016
NASA successfully launched a super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, at 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, (7:35 p.m. EDT Monday, May 16) on a potentially record-breaking, around-the-world test flight.

The balloon flies at an altitude of about 110,000 feet, in a layer of Earth's atmosphere known as the stratosphere.

The purpose of the flight is to test and validate the SPB technology with the goal of long-duration flight (100+ days) at mid-latitudes. In addition, the gondola is carrying the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) gamma-ray telescope as a mission of opportunity.

Another mission of opportunity is the Carolina Infrasound instrument, a small, 3-kilogram payload with infrasound microphones designed to record acoustic wave field activity in the stratosphere. Developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, previous balloon flights of the instrument have recorded low-frequency sounds in the stratosphere, some of which are believed to be new to science.

As the balloon travels around the Earth, it may be visible from the ground, particularly at sunrise and sunset, to those who live in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes, such as Argentina and South Africa.

Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman, Joy Ng


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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #15 on: 05/18/2016 10:36 PM »
I saw this last evening after sunset, to the north of Canberra.  An amazing sight.  It was bright yellow, much brighter than Jupiter which was also visible. Over about 20 minutes it gradually dimmed through orange to red, in pace with the sun.
I looked at it through my 60 mm refractor at magnifications of 20X though to 60X. The balloon was lenticular, rather like an eye, in that the centre was darker and the ends brighter. They payload cable was just visible.  I confirmed that this was the balloon with the tracking map.  One local astronomer photographed it.

https://twitter.com/Astro0Glen/status/732858361490903040

« Last Edit: 05/22/2016 07:58 PM by Dalhousie »
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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #16 on: 02/23/2017 06:22 PM »
NASA-funded Balloon Recovered From Antarctica

NASA Goddard

Published on Feb 23, 2017
For 12 days in January 2016, a football-field-sized balloon with a telescope hanging beneath it floated 24 miles above the Antarctic continent, riding the spiraling polar vortex. On Jan. 31, 2016, scientists sent the pre-planned command to cut the balloon – and the telescope parachuted to the ground in the Queen Maud region of Antarctica.

The telescope sat on the ice for an entire year.

The scientists did quickly recover the data vaults from the NASA-funded mission, called GRIPS, which is short for Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar flares. But due to incoming winter weather – summer only runs October through February in Antarctica – they had to leave the remaining instruments on the ice and schedule a recovery effort for the following year. Finally, in January 2017, it was warm and safe enough to recover the instruments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNMytN7Zafo?t=001

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #17 on: 03/18/2017 02:24 PM »
How many people does it take to unpack a 5,240-pound NASA balloon?

NASAWallops

Published on Mar 17, 2017
In preparation for NASA's next Super Pressure Balloon flight from Wanaka, New Zealand, NASA's balloon team unpacked the top and bottom fittings of the balloon March 17 to perform test and integration work prior to launch.

The 18.8-million-cubic-foot (532,000-cubic-meter) balloon is enormous – about the size of a football stadium – when fully inflated. The balloon's inflated shape is an oblate spheroid, or less technically, it's the shape of a pumpkin. The fittings are essentially the north and south poles of the spheroid. The top fitting has valves where inflation tubes are connected to the balloon. The bottom fitting connects to a parachute, and then the parachute connects to the balloon gondola, which houses the payload and supporting instruments.

Given that the balloon is made of 22 acres (8.9 hectares) of polyethylene film and weighs 5,240 pounds (2,377 kilograms), unpacking the balloon is not a trivial activity. Nearly a dozen technicians working different functions carefully opened up the steel-plate-lined shipping box containing the balloon. From there, an overhead crane was used to lift the fittings out while the team worked along either side of the balloon to keep the film safe during the overall operation.

NASA is currently targeting no earlier then March 25 for launch. (NASA/Bill Rodman).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIe49eotVNI?t=001

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #18 on: 03/22/2017 01:40 AM »
Super Pressure Balloon Parachute Integration

NASAWallops

Published on Mar 20, 2017
While the window for NASA's next Super Pressure Balloon launch from Wanaka, New Zealand, opens March 25, there are a number of factors that need to align prior to making an actual launch attempt. Seen here, members of NASA's Scientific Balloon Team conduct balloon/parachute integration work March 21 at Wanaka Airport. Check-outs will continue throughout the week as the team prepares for launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbE3E1KGo4I?t=001

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Re: Super Pressure Balloon
« Reply #19 on: 03/22/2017 08:38 PM »
EUSO-SPB Final Check-Outs Prior to Launch

NASAWallops

Published on Mar 22, 2017
NASA's Scientific Balloon Team kicked off a day-long hang test of the 2.5-ton Extreme Universe Space Observatory-Super Pressure Balloon (EUSO-SPB) payload March 23, 2017, a key step to certifying the flight readiness of this year's super pressure balloon mission lifting off from Wanaka, New Zealand.

The hang test is a complete test of all primary balloon systems—tracking, telemetry, communications, and flight termination systems—as well as all redundant systems to ensure the flight readiness of the balloon and payload.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0t28cDa4tA?t=001



The window for this year's super pressure balloon flight opens March 25.
Tony De La Rosa

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