Overview of and First Observations from the TILDAE High-Altitude Balloon Mission
Bennett A. Maruca1,2, Raffaele Marino3,2, David Sundkvist2, Niharika H. Godbole2, Stephane Constantin4, Vincenzo Carbone5, and Herb Zimmerman61Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware – Newark, DE 19716, USA 2Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, CA 94720, USA 3Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d’Acoustique, CNRS, École Centrale de Lyon, Université de Lyon – Ecully, France 4Modular Robotics – Boulder, CO 80301, USA 5Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria – 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Cs, Italy 6Applied Technologies – Longmont, CO 80501, USA
Received: 28 Oct 2016 – Accepted for review: 03 Jan 2017 – Discussion started: 05 Jan 2017
Abstract. Though the presence of intermittent turbulence in the stratosphere has been well established, much remains unknown about it. In-situ observations of this phenomenon, which have provided the greatest detail of it, have mostly been achieved via sounding balloons (i.e., small balloons which burst at peak altitude) carrying constant-temperature hot wire anemometers (CTA's). The Turbulence and Intermittency Long-Duration Atmospheric Experiment (TILDAE) was developed to test a new paradigm for stratospheric observations. Rather than flying on a sounding balloon, TILDAE was incorporated as an add-on experiment to the payload of a NASA long-duration balloon mission that launched in January, 2016 from McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Furthermore, TILDAE's key instrument was a sonic anemometer, which (relative to a CTA) provides better-calibrated measurements of wind velocity and a more-robust separation of velocity components. During the balloon's ascent, TILDAE's sonic anemometer provided atmospheric measurements up to an altitude of about 18 km, beyond which the ambient air pressure was too low for the instrument to function properly. Efforts are currently underway to scientifically analyze these observations of small-scale fluctuations in the troposphere, tropopause, and stratosphere and to develop strategies for increasing the maximum operating altitude of the sonic anemometer.
Maruca, B. A., Marino, R., Sundkvist, D., Godbole, N. H., Constantin, S., Carbone, V., and Zimmerman, H.: Overview of and First Observations from the TILDAE High-Altitude Balloon Mission, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-359, in review, 2017.