Cobham Antennas Systems has supplied Swedish Space Corporation with an omni antenna for use on its balloon gondola, providing an effective link to transmit data to the ground. Mounted beneath the gondola and completely exposed, the antenna worked well throughout the harsh, freezing conditions of the flight from Kiruna in northern Sweden to Kuusamo in eastern Finland, helping to provide scientists with the data required.
This antenna, model number EVD2-1450/124, was selected due to its rugged construction in combination with the right frequency and specification for this application. The specification includes a frequency range of 1.4 to 1.5GHz, 2dBi gain, vertical polarisation and weighs 120 grams (4 ounces).
Early on Sunday morning 24 January 2010, at 01:46 local time, the scientific instrument MIPAS/B-Telis was successfully launched from the Esrange Space Center. The balloon gondola reached a height of 34 km and landed 14 hours later 40km west of Kuusamo in eastern Finland.
The scientific teams from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, lead by Mr Hermann Oelhaf, and DLR-IMF lead by Mr Manfred Birk, were very pleased with the flight and they have received valuable scientific data. The scientific objective was to perform time dependent measurement of trace gases and cloud properties in the upper troposphere and stratosphere with various remote sensing techniques inside the chemically activated vortex.
In parallel, validation of data on board the ESA satellite Envisat and coordination with aircraft measurements during the Reconcile EU-FP7 arctic campaign at Kiruna Airport were also made.
The balloon flight was performed within the framework of the EuroLaunch co-operation between SSC/Esrange and DLR/Moraba.