Balloon-borne telescope system for optical remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and plasmas

Makoto Taguchi, Kazuya Yoshida, Hiroki Nakanishi, Yasuhiro Shoji, Kohei Kawasaki, Junichi Shimasaki, Yukihiro Takahashi, Jun Yoshida, Daisuke Tamura, Takeshi Sakanoi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper reports on the ongoing development of a balloon-borne telescope system for remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and plasmas. In this system, a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with a 300-mm clear aperture is mounted on a gondola whose attitude is controlled by control moment gyros, an active decoupling motor, and a Sun sensor. The gondola can float in the stratosphere for periods in excess of 1 week. A pointing stability of 10 arcsec/s will be achieved via the cooperative operation of the following three-stage pointing devices: a gondola-attitude control system, two-axis telescope gimbals for coarse guiding, and a tip/tilt mirror mount for guiding error correction. The first target for the system is Venus. Wind vectors in the Venusian upper atmosphere will be derived from the tracking of cloud patterns observed in the ultraviolet and near-infrared regions. An experiment designed to test the system performance is scheduled to take place in Japan during June 2007, and a long-duration flight in the Arctic is scheduled for 2008.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Geosciences
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 7: Planetary Science (PS)
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789812708922
ISBN (Print)981270986X, 9789812709868
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 1


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