Polar Patrol Balloon (PPB) experiment in Antarctica

PPB #7(PPB-BETS) Launched on January 04, 2004 at 15:57:00 UT
PPB #8 Launched on January 13, 2003 at 06:49:00 UT
PPB #9 Launched on January 6, 2003 at 07:34:30 UT
PPB #10 Launched on January 13, 2003 at 12:15 UT



Information about Solar-Terrestrial Environment During PPB period

Results of each instrument

Balloon Experiment

National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) will carry out long-duration balloon experiment in Antarctica from the end of December 2002 to late January 2003, in collaborations with the Balloon Engineering Division, Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences, and other scientists from Universities. We named this experiment as "Polar Patrol Balloon" (PPB).

4 balloons will be launched; one for astrophysical observation, and 3 for geophysical observation. The balloon is 50,000~100,000 cubic meters in volume, and the payload weight is 400~500 kg, including ballast. The balloons go around the Antarctica at 69 S in 14 days from east to west, or counter clockwise. Altitude of the balloons is 32-35 km, maintained by auto ballast control.

Power comsumption of the balloon system is 70W, and it is supplied by solar cells. Observed data is directly transferred to Japan by Iridium satellite telephones, as well as telemetered to the ground at Rothera and Zhongshan Stations in Antarctica, in collaboration with UK and Chinese Antarctic Research Expeditions.

Aim of the Astrophysical observations

PPB#7(BETS) has been terminated after more than 12 days at float.

Measurement of cosmic-ray electron energy spectrum over 100 GeV to reveal their origin and propagation in the Galaxy. PI of this experiment is Prof. S. Torii(Kanagawa University).

PPB-BETS(2003-2004) Homepage for PPB-BETS members which gives the status of the instruments.

Onboard instruments
Scintillating fiber/Lead sampling calorimeter observes a shower development induced by high energy cosmic-rays. Two sets of image intensified CCD camera is used for read-out of scintillating fiber belts stacked in orthogonal direction with each other. Electronics system is used to make a trigger signal and to digitize the CCD signals in 12 bits.

Aim of the geophysical observations

Three balloons with identical instrumentation will be launched from Syowa Station successively with longitudinal separation of about 300 km (0.5 hour in MLT). Trajectory of these balloons will traverse magnetic latitude range of 60-80 degrees, crossing various boundary regions in the magnetosphere such as plasma pause, LLBL, PSBL and the cusp. The formation flight of these balloons will be able to separate spatial and temporal variations of the phenomena occurring in these boundary regions.

Onboard instruments
Onboard instruments are ULF~LF wave receiver, aurora X-ray imager, DC electric field instrument, 3-axis fluxgate magnetometer, and the ionospheric total electron content measurement using GPS. Specifications of these instruments are as follows.

EMW: Electromagnetic wave in ULF~LF range
PI: H. Yamagishi (NIPR), T. Okada (Toyama Prefectural University)
Air-core loop antenna with a diameter of 40 m
Step Frequency Analyzer: 5, 10, 20, 36 kHz, 0.5 s/step
Multi-channel Analyzer: 0.3, 0.6, 1.2, 2.4 kHz, 2Hz sampling
Waveform transfer: 0.2~4 Hz, 10 Hz sampling

EFD: Electric field vector
PI: A. Kadokura(NIPR), E. A. Bering (University of Houston)
3-axis double spherical probe,
Resolution: 0.2 mV/m (horizontal), 0.8 mV/m (vertical), 1 Hz sampling
Atmospheric conductivity and current density at every 10 min.

MGF: Magnetic field vector
PI: F. Tohyama (Tokai University)
3-axis fluxgate magnetometer
Attitude determination: 2-axis clinometer, 8 sun-sensors
Resolution: 0.25 nT, 0.2'(sun), 0.3'(clino), 1 Hz sampling

AXI: Auroral X-ray Image
PI: M. Nakagawa (Osaka City University)
Medium energy image: 4x4 NaI sensors, 30~180 keV, 5ch, FOV 110 deg.
High energy spectrum: BGO sensor, 100~800 keV, 5ch, FOV 155 deg.
Time resolution: Energy spectrum 20 s, Integrated Intensity 2 s.

TEC: Total Electron Content in the ionosphere
PI: A. Kadokura(NIPR)
Dual-frequency GPS signal receiver (time, L1, P1, L2, P2)
Time resolution: 1 min. elevation>10 deg., 3 satellites/min


Kadokura, A., Hisao Yamagishi, Natsuo Sato, Masaki Ejiri, Haruto Hirosawa, Takamasa Yamagami, Shoji Torii, Fumio Tohyama, Michio Nakagawa, Toshimi Okada, and Edgar A. Bering, Polar Patrol Balloon Experiment in Antarctica during 2002-2003, Adv. Polar Upper Atmos. Res., 16, 157-172, 2002. (PDF)

Y. Saito, I. Iijima, N. Izutsu, T. Kawasaki, Y. Matsuzaka, M. Namiki, S. Ohta, M. Toriumi, T. Yamagami, Y. Ebihara, M. Ejiri, A. Kadokura, N. Sato, H. Yamagishi, Y. Katayose, Y. Tomida, M Fujii, H. Murakami, S. Uchiyama, Y. Konno, Japanese Polar Patrol Balloon Experiments from 2002 to 2004, 24th International Space Technology Symposium, 13p, 2004. (PDF)

Nakamura, T., Y.Ebihara,M.Ejiri, A. Kadokura, N.Matsumoto, Y.Matsuzaka, K.Mukai, H.Murakami, M.Nakagawa, M.Namiki, N.Oshima, Y.Saito, N.Sato, H.Suzuki, W.Takahashi, M.Uchida, T.Yamagami, H.Yamagishi, M.Yamamoto, and M.Yamauchi, Observations of hard X-rays of auroral origin with PPB No.8 and 10, Adv. Polar Upper Atmos. Res., 18, 10-22, 2004. (PDF)

藤井 、「南極周回気球で用いられた新しいHKシステムの評価と改良」芝浦工業大学大学院工学研究科電気工学専攻2003年度修士論文, 2004. (Fujii, A new HK system in the PPB experiment, Master Thesis, 2004) (PDF)

Edgar A. Bering III, Robert H. Holzworth, Brandon D. Reddell, Michael F. Kokorowski, Akira Kadokura, Hisao Yamagishi, Natsuo Sato, Masaki Ejiri, Haruto Hirosawa, Takamasa Yamagami, Shoji Torii, Fumio Tohyama, Michio, Nakagawa and Toshimi Okada, Balloon observations of temporal and spatial fluctuations in stratospheric conductivity, Advances in Space Research, Volume 35, Issue 8 , Pages 1434-1449, 2005. (PDF)

Robert H. Holzworth, Edgar A. Bering III, Michael F. Kokorowski, Erin H. Lay, Brandon Reddell, Akira Kadokura, Hisao Yamagishi, Natsuo Sato, Masaki Ejiri, Haruto Hirosawa,  Takamasa Yamagami, Shoji Torii, Fumio Tohyama, Michio Nakagawa, Toshimi Okada and Richard L. Dowden, Balloon observations of temporal variation in the global circuit compared to global lightning activity, Advances in Space Research, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 6 September 2005. (PDF)
門倉昭、山岸久雄、大塚雄一、茶珎俊一、山上隆正、並木道義、松坂幸彦、斉藤芳隆、第44次隊PPB実験グループ、2003年南極周回気球(PPB)実験におけるTEC観測、平成16年度大気球シンポジウムプロシーディングス、47-50, 2005. (Kadokura, A., et al., TEC observation in the PPB experiment in 2003, ISAS Balloon Sympo., 47-50, 2005)
(PDF in Japanese)
Edgar A. BeringRobert H. Holzworth, 門倉昭、山岸久雄)、山上隆正、並木道義、松坂幸彦、斉藤芳隆、第44次隊PPB実験グループ、2003年南極周回気球(PPB)実験における電場観測、平成16年度大気球シンポジウムプロシーディングス、51-54, 2005. (Bering, E. A., et al., Electric field observation in the PPB experiment in 2003, ISAS Balloon Sympo., 51-54, 2005) (PDF in Japanese)
Full List of Related Papers (including Japanese papers & presentations)


Project Manager: Prof. H. Yamagishi (NIPR) yamagisi***@uap.nipr.ac.jp (due to spamming, edit the address by removing the asterisks)
Chief Experimenter: Dr. A. Kadokura (NIPR, now at Antarctic Syowa Station)