Tuesday, 7 June 2011

HiWIND Balloon Campaign Under Way in Kiruna

Today in our Science Tuesday series were are very up-to-date: a balloon launch and associated EISCAT incoherent scatter radar experiments are to be conducted in a few days' time.

In the first application round of the EISCAT Peer-Review Programme experiments, 30 hours of  observation time on the UHF radar in Tromsø was given to the project "Daytime Ionosphere Thermosphere Interaction Study with EISCAT and HiWIND Balloon observations", by Qian Wu and collaborators from High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, Boulder, USA.

HiWIND experiment is a balloon-borne Fabry-Perot interferometer which will measure the thermospheric winds by monitoring the neutral wind induced Doppler shift in the airglow emission of atomic oxygen at 630 nm. This spectral line originates mostly from the thermosphere.

The HiWIND balloon payload has now been under assembly at Esrange Rocket Range in Kiruna, Sweden and the launch is scheduled for coming Friday, 10th June 2011. The picture shows Qian Wu and the HiWIND payload under assembly in the new balloon facility building at Esrange on 26th May, 2011.

Photo: Esa Turunen.

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