BARREL NASA - Balloon Campaign 2016 RSS

Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses

BARREL is a balloon-based Mission of Opportunity to augment the measurements of NASA's Van Allen Probes spacecraft. The primary scientific objective is to understand the processes responsible for scattering relativistic electrons into Earth's atmosphere.

BARREL payloads were flown in the Antarctic during 2013 and 2014 and from Esrange in 2015. The team is returning to Esrange for a second time in August of this year to fly another 6-8 long duration balloons.

During the campaign, the team will fly 6-8 long-duration balloons over a one-month period to provide measurements of relativistic electron precipitation to study the spatial structure of precipitation, study the scattering process, and allow an estimate of the total electron loss from the radiation belts.

Observations are planned for when the balloon-array will be conjugate with spacecraft, so that direct comparison is possible between one another.

Each balloon carries a NaI scintillator to measure the bremsstrahlung X-rays produced by precipitating relativistic electrons as they collide with neutrals in Earth's atmosphere. Two experiments built by undergraduate students from University of Houston will also be carried by the balloons.


General Information

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date August 2016
Customer NASA

Contact persons:
Mark Smith, SSC Project Manager,
Robyn Millan, Dartmouth College, Principal Investigator,

Read more about the BARREL mission

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