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BSMILES - a balloon-borne superconducting submillimeter-wave limb-emission sounder for stratospheric measurements

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10 Author(s)
Irimajiri, Y. ; Nat. Inst. of Inf. & Commun. Technol., Tokyo, Japan ; Manabe, T. ; Ochiai, S. ; Masuko, H.
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A balloon-borne superconducting submillimeter-wave 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 O3, 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 (11hν/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.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )