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.
|Title of host publication
|Advances in Geosciences
|Subtitle of host publication
|Volume 7: Planetary Science (PS)
|World Scientific Publishing Co.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2007 Jan 1