TIFR to launch balloon flights carrying scientific instruments

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) here would launch 10 balloon flights this month under the auspices of the Department of Atomic Energy and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for scientific purposes.

A press release from the Government of Telangana quoted TIFR’s Scientist-in-Charge, B. Suneel Kumar, as saying that the balloons filled with hydrogen would carry scientific instruments and would be launched from TIFR’s Balloon Facility on the Electronics Corporation of India Limited campus.

The balloons are made of twin (polyethylene) plastic films, ranging in diameters between 50 and 85 metres and would normally be launched at night, between 8 p.m. and 6.30 a.m. They would carry instruments for research at high altitudes between 17 km and 30 km high in the sky depending on the type of experiment that would be undertaken.

After their release, the instruments would descend to the ground on large coloured parachutes. During the ascent and at the ceiling level, the balloons would drift according to the prevailing winds and hence, Mr. Suneel Kumar said, the instruments could therefore land at different points—as distant as about 200 to 350 km from Hyderabad. The balloon drifts would be along the Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad-Sholapur line, he added.

The expected regions of the payload’s impact post-release include Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Warangal, Khammam, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts in Telangana, the release said. The parachutes with the instruments suspended under them on a long rope of about 20 metres in length, would usually descend at a slow pace.

The general public, who find the parachute with the instruments, have been requested not to remove them from the place of landing. They could either call or send a telegram to an address that would be given on various packages or contact the nearest police station, post office or the district authorities about their finding. For safety, the instruments would be kept in wooden cages or in a large aluminium framework/containers.

On receipt of information, scientists involved would collect the instruments and pay the finder a suitable reward.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 2:07:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tifr-to-launch-balloon-flights-carrying-scientific-instruments/article19526814.ece

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