Strateole-2 is a French-US project supported by ESA that uses CNES superpressure balloons drifting around the globe to study the climate processes in the Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL) and the lower stratosphere, helping Aeolus validation activities along the way.
It turns out that Jules Verne was not far off the mark when he wrote his iconic novel ‘Around the World in 80 days’: on 23 February 2020, one of Strateole-2’s eight superpressure balloons completed its circumnavigation of the globe just an hour and seventeen minutes shy of 80 days. Five days later, the last three balloons of the first leg of the Strateole-2 mission completed their journeys, successfully concluding the campaign.
Inflation of a CNES superpressure balloon, Copyrights: Ph. Cocquerez, CNES
Strateole-2 will release a total of nearly 50 long-duration balloons in three separate campaigns between 2019 and 2024. Balloons are released from Mahé International Airport, Seychelles, with the local support of the Seychelles Meteorological Authority.
The first technological test campaign, which started in November 2019 and ended in February 2020, was comprised of eight CNES superpressure balloons. These spherical balloons, which have been used in several projects by CNES before, are 11 and 13-metre in diameter and made of ...