Design

Let’s discover together all the technical aspects of our experiment

A lot to discover!

OBJECTIVES

The primary objectives of O-Zone are: the sampling of some air pollutants (CFCs, VOCs, SOx, PM) at different altitudes and the collection of a known amount of air above 20km.

These are closely related to the secondary objectives i.e. the construction of dispersion diagrams of the sampled analytes and finally the comparison of our model with other existing air analysis methods (satellite missions, in-situ sampling, previous innovative experiments).

OVERVIEW

The experiment consists in a dynamic sampling system with subsequent analysis of the collected samples. In-situ investigations would entail higher costs with the risk of employing unsuitable equipment in the atmospheric environment under investigation instead, our experiment, seeks to provide an innovative and alternative method of dealing with the problem of pollution.

THE DEVICE

Our device consists of a box containing a sampling system; the structure at the base is an aluminum frame, it’s closed with multi-layer panels that allow the thermal insulation of the device and ensure structural integrity.

The sampling system is divided into two different samplers: 

-An arrangement of filters, available according to the altitude,

-A canister (sampling bag) that gathers air during the floating phase. 

FUNCTIONALITY

The air is directed inside the device by a pump. Then, thanks to a system of valves, the air can be directed into the filters or the canister.

During the flight of the balloon, the experiment will be switched on for the ascending phase and the floating phase, while on the descending phase the device will be switched off.

In the ascending phase, depending on altitude, the valves will direct the air in the filters. Each filter will then correspond to a different range of altitudes.

Once into the floating phase, the balloon will be stationed in a very rarefied air zone, therefore the device will sample with the last filter and, after this, will direct the air inside the canister to fill it.

The following values will be monitored during the flight:

  • The air flow rate, by means of a flowmeter, which will allow to control the quantity of air passing through the filters and filling the canister,
  • The temperature, by means of sensors positioned in different spots. This is to prevent overheating of critical components and to control the temperature of the incoming air by means of a thermal control system,
  • Pressure, to detect possible leakage of the pneumatic subsystem and to prevent electronic malfunctions,
  • Altitude, through a GPS System, to enrich the chemical analysis data and to allow a possible autonomy of the device.

ESA-BEXUS