10 balloon flights to be launched from Hyderabad for scientific purpose

January 20th, 2020

Hyderabad: B. Suneel Kumar, Scientist–in–charge, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Government of India, has informed that 10 balloon flights will be launched from Hyderabad for scientific purpose from January 10 to April 30  under the auspices of the Department of Atomic Energy and ISRO.

The balloons filled with Hydrogen gas, carrying scientific instruments will be launched from Balloon Facility of TATA Institute of Fundamental Research, ECIL Hyderabad. The first balloon flight is planned around the third week of January. The balloons are made of thin (Polyethylene) plastic films, ranging in diameters from 50 meters to 85 meters and normally launched between 20.00hrs and 6.30 hrs at night.

The balloons, which carry up scientific instruments for research at high altitudes, are expected to reach heights between 30 km and 42 km depending upon the experiments being undertaken. The instruments will be kept at these heights for periods ranging from a few to 10 hours and then they will be released from the balloon. After release, the instruments will come down to ground on large coloured parachutes.

During ascent and at ceiling, the balloons will drift in the prevailing winds and the instruments, may, therefore, land at points as distant as about 200 to 350 kms from Hyderabad. The balloon drifts will be on the Vishakapatnam-Hyderabad-Sholapur line, in the areas of AP, North Karnataka and Maharashtra States.

The expected regions of impact of the payload after release from the balloon are: Adilabad, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Hyderabad, Jagtial, Jangoan,  Jayshankar Bhupalpally, Jogulamba Gadwal, Kamareddy, Karimnagar, Khammam, Kumuram Bheem, Mahabubabad, Mahabubnagar, Mancherial, Medak, Medchal- Malkajgiri, Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Peddapalli, Rajanna Sircilla, Rangareddy, Sangareddy, Siddipet, Suryapet, Vikarabad, Wanaparthy, Warangal, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri districts of Telangana. The parachute with the instruments suspended underneath it, on a long rope, about 20 to 40 meters in length, will usually come down to ground quite slowly.

He appealed the People that the persons who find the parachute and instruments are requested not to remove them from its place of landing and to telephone or sent a telegram to the address which will be given on various packages. They are also requested to contact the nearest Police Station, Post Office and District Authorities about the finding. Instruments are kept inside wooden cages or large aluminum framework / containers for safety.

The instruments are extremely sensitive and valuable, scientific data will be lost if they are tampered . There may be high voltages on some of the instruments, which will be dangerous, but only if the instruments are opened, up. Otherwise they are safe and harmless. On receipt of information from finders, scientists carrying out these experiments will collect the instruments and pay the finder a suitable reward plus all of their reasonable expenses for sending telegrams, making telephone calls, travelling for conveying the information, etc. No reward will be paid if it is found that anything has been opened or tampered with. He further requested the people to co-operate in this regard.