Press

Pressinbjudan 2008-10-06

Kiruna, 2008-10-06

PRESSINBJUDAN

Ballongdag - MEAP/P-BACE-evenemang vid IRF i Kiruna

torsdag 9 oktober, kl. 9-12

MEAP/P-BACE hang test  MEAP/P-BACE launch

  Bilder: IRF/SSC/UBe

På torsdag (9 oktober) arrangeras en Ballongdag vid Institutet för rymdfysik (IRF) i Kiruna för att summera resultaten av ballongmissionen MEAP (Mars Environment Analogue Platform). Under sommaren 2008 skickade IRF, Universität Bern i Schweiz och Rymdbolaget upp en masspektrometer med en stratosfärsballong från Rymdbolagets anläggning Esrange Space Center i Kiruna. Då utprovades masspektrometern P-BACE (Polar Balloon Atmospheric Composition Experiment), som primärt har utvecklats för att genomföra en rad mätningar på Mars under kommande rymdfärder. Masspektrometern utprovades i jordens stratosfär, en miljö som har många likheter med förhållanden vid ytan på planeten Mars.

Media inbjuds till detta evenemang i Aulan på Rymdcampus i Kiruna, kl. 9.00-12.00 på torsdag (9 oktober). En särskild session för media hålls kl. 11.45. Anmäl deltagande till Rick McGregor, informationsansvarig, IRF, tel. 070-276 6020, rick*irf.se, senast kl. 17 på onsdag (8 oktober).


MEAP/P-BACE Event at IRF in Kiruna

A one day event to be held at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) in Kiruna on Thursday (9 October 2008), will summarize the results of the MEAP (Mars Environment Analogue Platform) stratospheric balloon mission. The aim of the MEAP mission was to fly a stratospheric balloon on a semicircular trajectory around the North Pole in the summer of 2008. The balloon platform carried the high resolution neutral gas mass spectrometer P-BACE (Polar Balloon Atmospheric Composition Experiment). MEAP was launched at Esrange, Kiruna, on 28 June and it landed successfully near Umingmaktok, Canada, on 3 July after a more than 5000 km long flight at heights of up to 39 km.

From the Earth to Mars, technical interest

The atmospheric conditions (temperature and pressure) at 30-40 km altitude are remarkably similar to those on the surface of Mars. A stratospheric balloon is thus an ideal testbed for instrumentation to be used on Martian landers. The P-BACE instrument, developed to measure the composition of the atmosphere at the surface of Mars, proved its worth for such future applications. About 4500 high resolution mass spectra of stratospheric composition were obtained during the flight.

Scientific interest

An altitude of 40 km in the terrestrial atmosphere is at the upper end of the ozone layer. This is a region in the atmosphere where there is a lot of photochemistry going on driven by the absorption of solar UV photons. Moreover, there are additional chemical processes because of frequent ion-neutral reactions.

Platform test for future flights

The flight was also used to test and qualify systems for balloon platform control, communication and solar power. Wheras the MEAP mission only covered 120 degrees of longitude, future stratospheric balloon flights launched at Esrange may do a full circle around the North Pole.

Programme

09.00-10.10    - History of atmospheric mass spectroscopy (Ernest Kopp, UBe, ca. 30 min)

                        - MEAP/PBACE launch and flight (Martin Wieser, IRF, ca. 40 min)

10.10-10.40     - Coffee and cake

10.40-11.45     - PBACE instrument and first results (Peter Wurz, UBe, ca. 30 min)

                        - Plans for the future: Planetary missions and new balloon missions (Peter Wurz, UBe ca. 20 min)

                        - ESRANGE activities (Olle Norberg, Esrange, 20 min)

11.45-12.00     - Meeting with media (MEAP/P-BACE Project team, ca 15 min)


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2008-10-06, uppdatering 2008-10-16, webmaster*irf.se


The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. The head office is in Kiruna (geographic coordinates 67.84° N, 20.41° E) and IRF also has offices in Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.


Institutet för rymdfysik, IRF, är ett statligt forskningsinstitut under Utbildningsdepartementet. IRF bedriver grundforskning och forskarutbildning i rymdfysik, atmosfärsfysik och rymdteknik. Mätningar görs i atmosfären, jonosfären, magnetosfären och runt andra planeter med hjälp av ballonger, markbaserad utrustning (bl a radar) och satelliter. För närvarande har IRF instrument ombord på satelliter i bana runt tre planeter, jorden, Mars och Saturnus. IRF har ca 100 anställda och bedriver verksamhet i Kiruna (huvudkontoret), Umeå, Uppsala och Lund.