The SURECA BIT-10 Long Duration Balloon Mission: A Successful Qualification Test for a New Iridium® Telemetry
Spoto, D; Auricchio, N ; Boen, K ; Ibba, R; et al.
Jan - 2011
ISBN : 978-92-9092-264-3

Event Title : 20th Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, held in Hyére, France in October, 2011
Published in: Proceedings of the 20th Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research. ESA SP-700
Publisher: ESA
type: Conference Proceedings

On 17th 2010 at 20:30 (UTC) a Long Duration Balloon has been launched from the Nobile Amundsen base (76° 31’ 26.0” N 84° 30’ 55.4” W, Svalbard Islands) carrying on board the most recent Iridium® telemetry module built by an Italian factory in collaboration with an Italian research institute. The payload landed successfully on June 20th 2010 at 21:00 58 (UTC), 76° 30’ 44.2” N 84° 40’ 31.1” W, about 280 m a.s.l. The Bi- directional Iridium Telemetry (BIT) represents the last application of a prototype module (MSITel) whose development began years ago. A small CZT detector has been used to allow full testing of the scientific input channel. The BIT telemetry provided a true real time control and monitoring of the whole payloads through a full duplex Iridium link, all over the flight, including the ballast release and the flight termination. This BIT unit was able even to take pictures using two onboard webcams that were packed and sent to ground in low resolution mode. All the data has been stored into on board memory sticks and recovered for complete post flight data analysis. The SURECA BIT-10 mission, that once again has demonstrated the capabilities and the reliability of the MSITel module, has accomplished thanks to the joint effort of the Italian Space Agency and the Andoya Rocket Range that made feasible Long Duration Balloon flights from Northern Polar Region.

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