Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-234
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-234

  10 Aug 2021

10 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

The Antarctic Stratospheric Aerosol Observation and Sample-Return System Using Two-Stage Separation Method of a Balloon-Assisted Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Shin-Ichiro Higashino1, Masahiko Hayashi2, Takuya Okada3, Shuji Nagasaki1, Koichi Shiraishi2, and Keiichi Ozuka4 Shin-Ichiro Higashino et al.
  • 1Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan
  • 2Department of Earth System Science, Fukuoka, 814-0180, Japan
  • 3Graduate Student, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan
  • 4Nippon Tungsten Co.,Ltd., Saga, 841-0203, Japan

Abstract. The authors have developed a system for the Antarctic stratospheric aerosol observation and sample-return using the combination of a rubber balloon, a parachute, and a gliding fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A rubber balloon can usually reach 20 km to 30 km in altitude, but it becomes difficult for the UAV designed as a low-subsonic UAV to directly glide back from the stratospheric altitudes because the quantitative aerodynamic characteristics necessary for the control system design at such altitudes are difficult to obtain. In order to make the observation and sample-return possible at such higher altitudes while avoiding the problem with the control system of the UAV, the method using the two-stage separation was developed and attempted in Antarctica. In two-stage separation method, the UAV first descends by a parachute after separating from the balloon at stratospheric altitude to a certain altitude wherein the flight control system of the UAV works properly. Then it secondly separates the parachute for autonomous gliding back to the released point on the ground. The UAV in which an optical particle counter and an airborne aerosol sampler were installed was launched on January 24, 2015 from S17 (69.028S, 40.093E, 607 m MSL) near Syowa Station in Antarctica. The system reached 23 km in altitude and the UAV successfully returned aerosol samples. In this paper, the details of the UAV system using the two-stage separation method including the observation flight results, and the preliminary results of the observation and analyses of the samples are shown.

Shin-Ichiro Higashino et al.

Status: open (until 02 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-234', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Sep 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-234', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Sep 2021 reply

Shin-Ichiro Higashino et al.

Shin-Ichiro Higashino et al.

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Short summary
We developed a system for aerosol observation and sample-return from stratospheric altitudes in Antarctica using a combination of a rubber balloon, a gliding unmanned aerial vehicle, and a parachute. We attempted the observation flights in Antarctica as one of the activities of Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, and the aerosol concentration observation up to the altitude of 23 km and the sample-return from the altitude of 22 km were achieved.