High-altitude balloons have been important research platforms for real-time investigation of the Earth’s stratosphere and as testbeds for satellite sensors and telescopes since the 1950s. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in ballooning for telecommunications and even space tourism due to technological advances (e.g. projects like the Google Loon and World View Voyager). Capitalizing on such advances, the France/USA collaborative Stratéole 2 project seeks to study the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), or “gateway to stratosphere”, with a series of drifting superpressure balloons. These balloons will circumnavigate the globe over the course of 90 days. The drifting balloons will make high-frequency measurements of meteorological variables, water vapor, ozone, clouds and aerosols and will advance our knowledge of cloud formation, transport processes, and equatorial waves in the TTL. The first of three flight windows began in November 2019 with the launch of eight payloads from the Seychelles.
In this presentation, LASP research scientist, Doug Goetz, will discuss the current state of stratospheric ballooning, give an overview of the Stratéole 2 project, provide first hand insight into the LASP developed Stratéole 2 instruments, and give some preliminary results from the ongoing flight campaign.
This February LASP Public Lecture will be held the second Wednesday, February 12 (rather than the first Wednesday, February 5).
LASP Public Lectures have been moved from the LASP Technology Building (LSTB) building to the Space Science (SPSC) building at 3665 Discovery Drive. (Behind LSTB, link to map above.)