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The 2nd Series of Scientific Ballooning Experiments in 2001

The 2nd series of scientific ballooning experiments in 2001 was conducted at Sanriku Balloon Center from August 21 through September 8, 2001. Five scientific balloons (BT5-22, B80-6, B30-69, B50-22 and BT’30-1) were launched.

Launched to examine stratospheric ozone distribution, BT5-22 successfully completed the observation of ozone density at altitudes between 20km and 42km.

The purpose of B80-6 was to observe the hard X-ray emission spectrum associated with solar flares using newly developed cadmium telluride detectors. Although there were no big-scale flares during the flight, 16 detectors performed well when cooled to lower than –10°C by radiational cooling, which met our desired objective of verifying their flight performance.
B30-69 was launched to sample extreme environment microorganisms in the stratosphere. After sucking in and then filtering the atmosphere, the microorganisms absorbed in the filter were collected, then cultured for their isolation and identification. Samples were collected at different points at altitudes between 12km and 31km for 4 hours.

B50-22 was launched to observe electrons in the more than 100GeV energy range. All of the scientific instruments were in good running order during the flight, and successfully obtained data on electrons in the more than 100GeV energy range. These observation data will serve as basic data for long-time observation by the Antarctic orbiting balloon scheduled for launch next year.

The purpose of BT’30-1 was to test flight performance of ISAS-developed ultra-thin-film high-altitude balloon made of polyethylene film 3.4 micron thick, with a volume of 30,000m3. The scientific balloon flew smoothly, reaching the scheduled altitude of 50.7km. The empty weight of this balloon is only 60% of conventional high-altitude balloons of the same volume, which proves that our drastic weight-saving efforts have been successful. The altitude of 50.7km reached this time is the highest altitude made by scientific balloons launched in Japan.

January 18, 2002