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HIBISCUS/TROCCINOX 2004: on the field

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Met information
Local station Weather forecast NOAA/NESDIS Current radar picture Model predictions CPTEC meteogram
Status of long duration MIR and BP balloons
Last MIR positions MIR forecast Last BP positions 8.5 m BP forecast 10 m BP forecast  
MIMOSA PV fields , description REPROBUS maps , description CPTEC emissions , description
3D kinetic trajectories
News from the field , pictures
May 2nd:BP_T3 reached today its maximum planned duration of 56 days flight and was therefore automatically terminated.
April 18th: BP_D2 (the test of heavy payload) fell today at 58S, 115W in the South Pacific after a 37-day flight.
April 7th: The MIR-SAOZ1 payload landed on 14 February in Kimberley, Australia,was returned today at the laboratory. The data stored on-board have been downloaded for further analysis.
April 7th: BP_O3 landed today after 27 days at 77S, 28W in Antarctica. The origin of the fall is the depressurisation of the balloon at warm temperature in the autumn polar night when flying above the cold IR emitting Antarctic plateau. The payload is still transmitting on the ice, including air temperature of -31¡C.
April 6th: BP_T2 stopped working today after 53 days after emptied its batteries (30 days planned). The payload was automatically cut by the safety system over Queensland, Australia.
April 6th :The MIR-SAOZ 2 flight fell down after a 39-day flight into the Pacific 800 km North of Tahiti at 150W, 9S. The balloon was automatically cut-down at 16 km after a fast descent from 26 to 16 km in 40 minutes at sunset. Such unexpected fast descent, similar to that already observed earlier on the MIR microlidar and on several other balloons in the past, cannot be explained by pure cooling over high altitude clouds. It suggests some instability, eg a volume reduction at high vertical speed at the beginning of the descent at sunset, which will need further investigation. All instruments, SAOZ, IR radiometer, lightning detector and meteorological sensors have been operating during the whole flight. High quality data of 70 occultations have been gathered together, the longest series ever for a SAOZ-MIR flight.
March 22nd: MIR-SAOZ2 is now over Amazonia (Mato Grosso) in a very active thunderstorm area. Many lightning and blue-jets events have been observed during the last two nights. The balloon was followed by radar on the 19th from Maceio (9¡S South of Recife) by a Brazilian scientist previously working at IPMet in Bauru.
March 22nd: The payload of SAOZ-MIR1 dropped on February 14th have been recovered in Australia. It will be returned soon to Toulouse for expertise as well as recovering of the raw SAOZ data stored on-board.
March 22nd: The MIR MICRO-LIDAR dropped into the Western Pacific half way between New-Caledonia and Fiji on the 19th after a 9-day flight. The MIR was cut-down automatically around 100 hPa at the end of a fast descent over the very active South Pacific Convergence Zone. The payload is still emitting, likely floating.
March 17th: After 19 days of flight, the MIR-SAOZ2 is now in the middle of the Atlantic. Since it drifted to more equatorial latitude, its displacement becomes more dictated by the QBO currently of West phase, meaning light or Eastward wind above 15 hPa and Westward in the lower stratosphere. Accordingly, the MIR moves very slowly, or backwards, at 28000 m during daytime and Westwards at 50 km /h during nighttime around 24000 m over the clear St Helen's High. The SAOZ is still working. Among the 38 occultations which could be observed, 35 provided full O3/NO2/H2O profiles, while 3 of them are missing for a reason unexplained at the moment.
March 17th: Six BPs are still in flight for respectively 33, 16, 10, 9, 7 and 5 days, all showing no indication of significant loss of gas. Although they are observed sometimes to lose their superpressure for a while at night when cooling at temperature 10-15¡C below ambient over very low emitting high level clouds, they are flying smoothly. Except the first (BP_T2) which is transmitting part of the data only, all other payloads are working as anticipated. The scientific return of passenger instruments (turbulence on T2 and T3, ozone and water vapour on O2 and O3) is under evaluation. The balloon trajectories which could be seen on the web site suggests the presence of waves of different types not always captured by meteorological analyses.
March 17th: The MIR MICRO-LIDAR is now in flight for 6 days and has almost crossed the Western Pacific. After waiting for 30 h to avoid high voltage at very low pressure, the MICRO-LIDAR was turned on. The instrument is working although spikes could appear frequently, but not always, in the signal particularly at the beginning, tentatively attributed to electrostatic discharges. Currently about one third of the profiles are free of noise displaying the complete picture down to the ground. Until now, low altitude clouds only could be observed but this could change rapidly since the MIR is now overflying more active and cold tropopause regions over Eastern Pacific. Since the MICRO-LIDAR is activated every 5 minutes at night, exciting results could be expected.
March 11th: MIR-SAOZ 2 passed about 350 km North of Reunion Island at 21:00 UT where a dedicated ozonesonde could be launched. Unfortunately, the cloud cover associated to the hurricane GAFILO didn't allow to carry the anticipated lidar observations. If clearing, a new attempt is anticipated for tomorrow which could be compared to the MIR remote measurements at sunrise 400 km backwards at about the longitude of Reunion Island.
March 11th: BP_ D2, a technical BP, was launched today at 21:00 UT. It reached float at 18800 m (71 hPa) one hour later. This is the last of a series of 18 launches of HIBISCUS balloons of various types. Among them two MIRs and 6 BPs are still in flight. See Last MIR positions and Last BP positions .
March 10th: The MIR MICRO-LIDAR was successfully launched at 21h35 UT, with an ascent in 2h21 up to 39000 m. The instrument is the ENEA/CNR MICRO-LIDAR recovered and refurbished after the launch failure on March 3rd. The balloon is a light MIR 46 (thinner material for the lower part, 20 kg less than previous MIR 45), designed for safer flights over very high convective clouds.
March 10th: MIR-SAOZ 2 passed successfully last night over the southern part of the tropical storm "Nicky", and is heading now to Reunion Island.
March 9th: At 21:00 UT, launch of BP_O3, the third and last 8.50 m diameter balloon carrying UCAM O3 and H2O sensors. The balloon surpressurised smoothly at float at 18400 m (74.4 hPa). Transmission and all meteorological sensors are working fine.
March 9th: The MIR-SAOZ2 is now over the Indian Ocean where it is expected to pass through a hurricane in formation at 14S, 90E and later GAFILO, currently over Madagascar. The prediction shows that it should pass close to Reunion Island on the 11th at 16:00 UT. The station of Reunion Island is planning two ozonesonde ascents (the regular weekly sonde on Wednesday 10th and another one on the 11th in the afternoon) as well as to run the tropospheric ozone and the temperature/aerosols/water vapour lidar.
March 7th: At 12:00 UT, launch of BP_T3, the third 10 m diameter balloon carrying a LMD turbulence sensor. The balloon reached float 1h30 mn later at 19800 m (58.6 hPa) where it pressurised smoothly. Ambient temperature is -70C.
March 6th: IPMet launched an ozone sonde at 16:30 UT for the calibration of the BP_O2 SS ozone sensor.
March 6th: At 15:45 UT, launch of BP_O2, the second 8.50 m diameter balloon carrying a UCAM SS ozone and SAW water vapour sensors. The balloon reached float 1h05 mn later at 18450 m (73.6 hPa) where it pressurised smoothly. Ambient temperature is -73C. The balloon is heading to the West.
March 3rd: The MIR MICRO-LIDAR was launched today at 00h30 UT. Unfortunately, because of humidity on the balloon after rainfall during the operations, the MIR burst at 9 km altitude. The payload has been recovered. The possibility to fly it again using a spare MIR is under investigation.
February 29th:The MIR-SAOZ2 is now over the Pacific. The data transmitted during the first two days flight show that all instruments are performing 100%: SAOZ ozone, nitrogen dioxide and water vapour profiles down to 5 km in clear sky conditions, the IR radiometer as well as the newly designed lightning and blue-jet detectors.
February 29th: A technical 10 m diameter BP was flown including modifications to correct the default of transmission experienced on the past two flights. The balloon reached float at 55 hPa (20160 m) and the transmitter is performing well. If confirmed tomorrow the launch of the remaining BPs could restart.
February 26th: At 23:30 UT, successful ozonesonde up to 30 km and IPEN aerosol lidar.
February 26th: At 23:00 UT, launch of MIR-2. At float at 37000 m 2:40 h later. Instruments : SAOZ, lightning and blue jet optical sensors and IR radiometer. Rendez vous with TROCCINOX Falcon at SAOZ tangent point tomorrow morning.
February 26th: At 20:00 UT, launch of SF3 flight. At float at 21700 m one hour later, followed by a long and slow descent across the TTL and the UT. Instruments: UCAM DESCARTES SLS and micro-DIRAC, CNR-ISAC LABS backscatter diode laser, UCAM SAW and SSS and NPL TDLAS.
February 25th: The NILUCUBE was launched around noon local time (15:07 UT) as the cloud coverage was high with the SACZ above us. After a slow descent under a large parachute, the payload has been recovered in good shape 40 km South of Bauru. The recovery team is on his way back to IPMet.
February 25th: The SF4 payloads were recovered this morning and brought back to IPMet this afternoon. They are in very good shape thanks to a smooth landing. Data analyses are under way.
February 24th, Carnaval flight: The South Atlantic Convergence Zone is still over us and we found good surface conditions (no rain and light wind) to launch SF4 at 20:00 UT. The balloon was carrying the UCAM DIRAC GC in SLS version with the ENEA MICRO-LIDAR on its back, the CNRS-CETP AIRS electric field and optical lightning sensor , a UCAM SAW hygrometer/SS ozone sensor and the CNRS-SA tuneable diode laser MICRO-SDLA for CH4, H2O and CO2. The balloon reached 20.5 km at 21:02 UT 1 hour before sunset. It flew above anvils topping at 13.5 km ahead of very convective cells moving toward the balloon. After a 2h30 descent down to 11 km, cut-down was activated for a descent under parachute and then a smooth landing 150 km South East of Bauru.
February 24th: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#10) launched at 22:30 UT was flown successfully, reaching 28 km altitude.
February 23rd: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#9) launched at 22:30 UT was flown successfully, reaching 27 km altitude.
February 23rd: The convergence zone is over us with good scientific conditions for SF4 and SF3. Two attempts to fly SF4 yesterday and today, but both flights had to be cancelled during the operations due to rain on Sunday and wind this afternoon.
February 21st: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#8) launched at 22:30 UT was flown successfully, reaching 33 km altitude.
February 21st: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#7) launched at 00:00 UT was flown successfully, reaching 27 km altitude.
February 19th: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#6) launched at 00:00 UT was flown successfully, reaching 27 km altitude.
February 17th: The SF1 payloads were recovered early this morning and are now under evaluation at IPMet. All instruments are in good shape.
February 17th: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#5) launched at 00:00 UT was flown successfully, reaching 27 km altitude.
February 16th: The SF1 balloon (See pictures) was launched today at 20:25 UT with the TROCCINOX Falcon 20 overpassing the area at 20:54 UT. The balloon was carrying the UCAM DESCARTES air sampler in SLS version with the CNR-ISAC LABS on its back, the CNRS-CETP AIRS electric field and lightning sensor,the UCAM micro-DIRAC GC, the UMIST Optical particle counter and a UCAM SAW hygrometer/SS ozone sensor attached to the NPL TDLAS tuneable diode laser system for H2O. The balloon reached 20.5 km at sunset followed by a 6h very slow descent down to 15.8 km where it was cut down close to the border with Parana.
February 16th: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#4) launched at 00:00 UT was flown successfully, reaching 27 km altitude.
February 14th: After a 9 day flight, the MIR-SAOZ 1 was automatically cut-down at 20:00 UT above a very active cell in NW Australia when reaching the tropopause level a little before sunrise.
February 14th: The front arrived in the late night above the station resulting in extremely heavy rain (60 mm expected within 24h). The SF2 flight train has been recovered 90 km North of Bauru, partly at the top of a 30 m height eucalyptus tree. It has required the intervention of firemen and people climbing on the tree.
February 13th:The DMI/U.Wyoming backscatter sonde(#3) was launched at 22:35 UT, reaching 27 km and passing the tropopause at 15 km with good data reception. The IPEN lidar was also run in parallel.
February 13th: The SF2 flight was flown at 20:16 UT just ahead of a very active front expected to arrive above Bauru during the second half of the night. The balloon of 3000 m3 was carrying the UCAM DESCARTES air sampler in SLS version with the ENEA MICRO-LIDAR on its back, the UCAM micro-DIRAC GC, a UCAM SAW hygrometer/SS ozone sensor, and the CNRS SDLA tuneable diode laser for H2O and CH4. The balloon reached 20 km at sunset followed by a 3h slow descent through the whole TTL down to 220 hPa (12km) where it was cut down. Since the data of the instruments are stored on-board and not transmitted, their quality will be evaluated after the recovery.
February 13th: The NILUCUBE was launched at 13:00 UT using a small plastic balloon for radiation measurements in the whole UV-Vis-NIR spectrum around noontime during the ascent up to 20 km an then a slow descent below a large parachute. The payload has been recovered in good shape in an orange field, 80 km North of Bauru.
February 12th: The second 10 m super-pressure balloon (BP_T2) carrying the CNRS RUMBA payload and Turbulence detector was launched successfully at 20:37 UT.
February 12th: The first 8.5 m super-pressure balloon (BP_O1) carrying the CNRS RUMBA payload and the UCAM O3/H2O passenger was launched successfully at 16:15 UT reaching a float altitude of 18500 m (72 hPa) and heading NW . See Last BP positions and 8.5 m BP forecast for actual and predicted trajectory.
February 12th: A DMI/U. Wyoming backscatter sonde(#2) was launched at 00:00 UT, going up to 28 km and passing the tropopause at 17.7 km with temperatures down to -74 C. A thin cloud layer was observed at 9 km, but no cloud occurrence was seen in the TTL region. The IPEN Brazilian aerosols lidar got simultaneaous measurements up to 25 km.
February 10th: A science meeting took place today at IPMet with representatives of HIBISCUS, TROCCINOX and TROCCIBRAS teams. Presentations of results and modelling from previous campaigns and current activities.
February 10th: A backscatter sonde from DMI/U. Wyoming (#1) was launched today at 00:45 UT. The balloon reached 28.5 km, passing the tropopause at 17 km with temperatures down to -77C. Above the boundary layer, thin cloud layers were observed between 6 and 9 km together with the lower part of the stratospheric aerosol layer above the tropopause. The IPEN Brazilian aerosols lidar got simultaneaous measurements up to 30 km.
February 6th: A first 10 m super-pressure balloon (BP_T1) carrying the CNRS RUMBA payload and a detector of Turbulence was launched successfully at 15:00 UT reaching a float altitude of 20200 m (55 hPa) where it overpressurised. See Last BP positions and 10 m BP forecast for actual and predicted trajectory.
February 6th: The MIR-SAOZ1 is now located at 90 degrees West over the cloud-free Eastern Pacific, loosing progressively its helium as expected (nighttime altitude of 27 km instead of 32 km on the previous night). SAOZ runs smoothly in the evening providing measurements down to 7 km, but experiences some problems with the on-board spectral analysis in the early morning.
February 6th: The 10ZL1 payloads were recovered and returned to IPMet this morning. SAOZ is fine, SAOZ-BrO and DIRAC are damaged after the rough lift-off. Their exact status is under investigation.
February 5th: The 10ZL1 was launched today at 20:00 UT, carrying SAOZ, SAOZ-BrO and the UCAM DIRAC GC for N2O. Good flight despite rough lift-off ahead a squall line. Payload landed at 80 km West from Bauru.
February 5th: The MIR-SAOZ1 is now above Pacific after 24 hours of flight over Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile.
February 4th: Launch of MIR-SAOZ1 today at 21:46 UT. Smooth launch. The balloon arrived at float at 32.8 km 2h 20' later heading to the West at 140 km/h. Argos and Inmarsat transmissions, met parameters and IR radiometer look fine. See Last MIR positions and MIR forecast for actual and predicted trajectory.
February 2nd: The first balloon flight of the HIBISCUS campaign took place on Saturday afternoon, with the 10ZL2 flight (See pictures). The balloon carrying the CNRS SAOZ, SAOZ-BrO and the CNR-ISAC backscatter diode laser was launched at 18:30 local for a 1:20 daylight ascent, followed by 40 min at float during twilight and a cut down 10 minutes later. Everything went well. The payloads have been returned to IPMet after their recovery in a sugar cane field on the following morning. The three instruments performed beautifully. The SAOZ's were able to carry their measurements down to exceptionnally low altitude at sunset because of the total absence of clouds around their tangent point area over Paraguay, although massive convection is still present over Eastern Brazil, Bauru being at the limit. Note: the NILUCUBE originally planned on this flight has been withdrawn. It will be flown on a small Raven plastic balloon for getting a full day of measurements, including at noon time, at 22 km instead of only twilight conditions on the ZL.
January 12th: The temporary buildings are ready
Hibiscus buildings

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