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Eclipse text German-to-English translation



Excerpt of the complete eclipse balloon website text available at
HABLIC.
 
Hank
   http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/3161/hablic.htm
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HABLIC: "All balloon launches, all the time" __|
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The University of Pforzheim, Germany will launch, on the occasion of
the total solar eclipse of August 11, a helium-filled high altitude
balloon with an ATV instrument platform.  The goal is the observation
of the moon's shadow on earth from a great height.  The onboard video
camera will transmit the pictures live to the Pforzheimer market place
and at the same time to the Internet.
 
The goal is not to view the eclipse as could be done from the
earth, but to view the shadow of the moon falling on the earth.
This shadow travels with two-and-one-half times the speed of
sound over the earth's surface.  Even with clouds present the shadow
will still be visible from high above the cloud layer - our project is
thus independent of the weather.
 
The balloon flight will begin around 11:00 hours in the proximity of
Ettlingen.  It rises with a rate of approx. 6 meters/second and
achieves at the time of eclipse totality a height of 25 kilometers.
With an upper wind direction of west the balloon will then most likely
be above Pforzheim.  As a consequence of the great altitude, the line of
sight to the horizon will span 500 km.; only the earth's curvature will
be a limiting factor, since there is no atmospheric obstruction from
vapor or clouds.
 
The moon's shadow on the earth moves at 2700 km/h coming from a
west-northwest direction.  During a total period of approx. 10 minutes,
i.e. for several minutes before the local darkening to several minutes
after, we expect fascinating pictures from the perspective of a near
earth satellite.
 
The camera has a view of 90 degrees, i.e., from the horizon to straight
downward.  The TV camera image has the resolution of a normal television
picture.  The lower instrument platform employs active attitude
control to stabilize the line of sight of the camera installed there.
Additionally, the camera can be turned by remote control of the ground
station in order to follow the movement of the moon's shadow.  The video
transmitter is limited to a period of operation of approx. 2 hours.
 
The components of the system were developed at the university with the
participation of several students.  The instrument package has already
proven its fitness in a test flight on November 14, 1998.
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