3 March 2022

Aerospace

CNIM Air Space and CNES: a manoeuvring balloon to explore the stratosphere

CNES entrusted CNIM Air Space with the development of an innovative stratospheric balloon: the manoeuvring balloon. The contract was signed within the framework of “France Relance”, the French government’s recovery plan. It enhances the collaboration between CNIM Air Space and CNES in the field of stratospheric balloons.

The manoeuvring stratospheric balloon will be an evolution of the pressurized stratospheric balloon used by CNES since the beginning of the 2000s. With an operating altitude between 18 km and 20 km, they are able to fly during several months. However, their flight path is currently imposed by stratospheric winds. The innovations developed by CNIM Air Space for the manoeuvring stratospheric balloon will make it possible to control the balloons’ flight path from the ground.

The manoeuvring stratospheric balloon will be used by CNES for its scientific campaigns, such as climate study campaigns. Other missions, such as surveillance or communication, have already been considered to meet the current need to facilitate access to Space, a strategic area both economic and geopolitical.

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