A balloon-borne superconducting submillimeterwave limb-emission sounder (BSMILES) was developed to observe thermal emission lines from stratospheric minor constituents. BSMILES carries a 300-mm-diameter offset parabolic antenna, a 624-639-GHz superconductor-insulator-superconductor (SIS) receiver, a three-axis fiber-optical gyroscope, and an acousto-optical spectrometer. BSMILES was launched from the Pacific Coast of Japan. All systems operated properly and emission line spectra of stratospheric gases, such as O 3, HCl, HO2, and O3 isotopes were measured. The system noise temperature in double sideband (DSB) during the flight was less than 460 K over the observing bandwidth with a best value of 330 K that is 11 times as large as the quantum limit (11hv/kB). After the observation, the gondola splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and was retrieved. Almost all instruments were waterproofed, and it has been proved that they are reusable.
- Balloon application
- Stratospheric measurement
- Submillimeter-wave technology
- Superconductor-insulator-super-conductor (SIS) mixer