UAH Balloon EUSO team has first-flight success


The weather balloon used to calibrate the EUSO telescope rises in Canada on Sunday evening, Aug. 24.

UAH Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR) graduate student Matthew Rodencal, Douglass Huie of the Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center (RSESC) and Dr. James Adams of CSPAR were part of a team in Canada that successfully rendezvoused with a stratospheric balloon carrying the prototype of the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (EUSO) telescope on a moonless night over a remote area of the province of Ontario, Canada, late Sunday night.

The balloon was launched from Timmons, Ontario, Canada. During the launch operations the helicopter, based at Carp Airport near Ottawa, flew to Timmins landing there while the balloon was ascending. Shortly after the balloon was in total darkness the helicopter reached the balloon and flew under it for more than two hours, calibrating the prototype with flashes of light that simulate those caused by cosmic rays. The balloon was located and followed by the helicopter using a graphical tracking system developed at UAH. The light sources on the helicopter included flashers developed at UAH.

EUSO is being developed for a flight on the International Space Station to record the luminous tracks left by extremely energetic cosmic rays when they strike the Earth's atmosphere.

For more information, contact:
Jim Steele