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Atmospheric balloon experiment B10-03 completed

At 5:41 a.m. on August 27, 2010, JAXA released the second balloon of the second balloon experiment season in JFY 2010 from the Taiki Aerospace Research Field, the base of the collaborative work. The release was part of the B10-03 experiment which aims at flying a bale (or a straw rice bag) shaped balloon. The balloon that was expanded to its full capacity of 5,000 m3 ascended 250 meters per minute.

The balloon reached an altitude of 25.2 km above the Pacific Ocean about 90 km east-north-east of the Taiki Aerospace Research Field in one hour and 45 minutes after the release, and the pressure inside the balloon, which was fully inflated by then, became higher than the atmospheric pressure. However, the film tore at the lower part of the balloon and the inside pressure was not maintained when the pressure difference between the inside and the outside reached 64 Pa at 7:25 a.m. while the inside pressure was increasing.

The main purpose of this experiment and research is to develop a bale shaped pressurized balloon whose air resistance is one digit lower than a conventional zero-pressure balloon due to its shape in order to realize the power balloon whose flight trajectory can be controllable at a future altitude of some 35 km. In this experiment, we used a smaller model of 5,000 m3 at full capacity volume, and confirmed the expansion process till full deployment under the stratospheric environment. We have also verified the movement of the balloon rupture mechanism of a pressurized balloon. The balloon film was actually torn at the lower pressure difference than we expected, thus we would like to study the reasons why the internal pressure was not maintained by investigating the pressure difference record and image data of the balloon deployment process, then incorporate the study results into future research and development.




August 27, 2010