Reports

Overview of VEGA Venus Balloon in Situ Meteorological Measurements

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Science  21 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4744, pp. 1411-1414
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4744.1411

Abstract

The VEGA balloons made in situ measurements of pressure, temperature, vertical wind velocity, ambient light, frequency of lightning, and cloud particle backscatter. Both balloons encountered highly variable atmospheric conditions, with periods of intense vertical winds occurring sporadically throughout their flights. Downward winds as large as 3.5 meters per second occasionally forced the balloons to descend as much as 2.5 kilometers below their equilibrium float altitudes. Large variations, in pressure, temperature, ambient light level, and cloud particle backscatter (VEGA-1 only) correlated well during these excursions, indicating that these properties were strong functions of altitude in those parts of the middle cloud layer sampled by the balloons.

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