Small balloon flights for investigating the impact of convective overshooting on the tropical lower stratosphere

Abstract : Thunderstorm convective overshooting over tropical land can reach an altitude of 20-21 km (Pommereau et al, Cospar 2018, Id 15676). For better understanding the process and the impact on the lower stratosphere, a small balloon flight program combining frequent flights of plastic and large rubber balloons next to thunderstorms has been carried in S-E Brazil in the frame of a French TROPICO project. Given the goal flying as close as possible from thunderstorms and ATC and safety requirements at landing, a specific control procedure was developed based on C-band radar observations and use of light-weight Iridium telemetry/remote control whose data were made available in real time to ATC by Internet for following the flight. A total of 37 flights have been carried out within two 3 weeks campaigns (20 in March 2012 and 17 in February 2013) of 3-40 kg payloads, among which FLASH Lyman alpha stratospheric hygrometers, PicoSDLA water vapor, N2O and CH4 diode laser sensors and COBALD cloud and aerosols detectors, operated and recovered in safe conditions. Altogether those balloon data, complemented by a variety of ground-based measurements of cloud altitude, atmospheric optical thickness and 4 radiosondes/day, allow confirming the stronger convective intensity over land in the southern tropics. An promising approach for further investigating the possible differences with other continents, i.e. Central Africa and Northern Australia, would be to carry similar measurements from long duration circumnavigating Infra Montgolfier, when their flights will be newly authorized. Details on technical aspects, payloads and procedures applied for carrying safe balloon flights in agreement with Brazilian authorities will be presented.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 5:51:13 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 10:59:39 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01073476, version 1

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Jean-Pierre Pommereau, Emmanuel Riviere, Sergey Khaykin, Gerhar Held. Small balloon flights for investigating the impact of convective overshooting on the tropical lower stratosphere. 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Aug 2014, Moscow, Russia. ⟨hal-01073476⟩

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