DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 38. Titan Posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Friday, November 30, 2001, 9:00-10:30am, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[38.03] Preliminary results of a balloon test for the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument of the Huygens Probe.

V. Gaborit, M. Fulchignoni (DESPA, observatoire de Paris-Meudon, France), F. Angrilli, M. Antonello, S. Bastianello, C. Bettanini, G. Bianchini, V. Brown, G. Colombatti, P.F. Lion-Stoppato (CISAS, universitÓ di Padova, Italia), F. Ferri (CNES, Toulouse, France), E. Flamini (ASI, Roma, Italia), A. Lehto (FMI, Helsinky, Finland), B. Hathi, N. Ghafoor (Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)

In order to prepare the Huygens mission to Titan, a balloon experiment has been developed. The goals of this experiment are to simulate in the Earth atmosphere the descent of the Huygens probe in the Titan atmosphere, to test the behaviour of the instruments, their performances, acquisition softwares and the telemetry system.

This experiment consists in a test of the HASI sensors mounted on a one to one scaled mockup of the Huygens probe. On board, instruments are, part of the HASI experiment (accelerometers, pressure and temperature sensors), one tilt sensor, a three axis magnetometer, the beagle 2 UV sensor and additionnal housekeeping sensors.The mockup include power supply and a PC for data acquisition. The mockup is attached to a telemetry box which is attached to a parachute. This payload is linked to a stratospheric balloon in order to reach an altitude of the order of 30 km. The launch of this experiment occured on June the 15th,2001 from the Italian Space Agency stratospheric balloons launch base located in Trapani-Milo.

This launch was successfull and the payload was recovered almost intact on Earth. Unfortunately, the acquisition system failled, but we recovered from the telemetry GPS positioning and velocity of the system, temperature and pressure profiles during ascent and descent phases. It allows us to perform and improve models for the reconstruction of the Huygens probe's descent in Titan's atmosphere and for atmosphere and wind analysis.

With this poster, we will present our experiment and the preliminary results about descent reconstruction and atmosphere state study. We will discuss also of the future launch opportunities scheduled for the next 2002 launch campaign.


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