Hyderabad: Residents of several districts in Telangana have been advised not to disturb the balloons or instruments attached to parachutes launched for scientific purposes if they land in their fields or backyard. They were advised by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Government of India, to call the number given on the instruments attached to it immediately or call the police.
According to B.Suneel Kumar, Scientist–in–charge, TIFR, 10 balloon flights will be launched from Hyderabad for scientific purpose till April 30 under the auspices of the Department of Atomic Energy and ISRO. The balloons filled with Hydrogen gas, carrying scientific instruments will be launched from balloon facility TIFR-ECIL. The first balloon flight is planned around the 3rd week of January.
The balloons are normally launched during night. The balloons, which carry scientific instruments for research at high altitudes, are expected to reach heights between 30 km and 42 km depending on the experiments being undertaken. The instruments will be kept at these heights for periods ranging from a few to 10 hours and then they will be released from the balloon.
After release, the instruments will come down to ground on large coloured parachutes. During ascent and at ceiling, the balloons will drift in the prevailing winds and the instruments may, therefore, land at points as distant as about 200 to 350 km from Hyderabad. The balloon drifts will be on the Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad-Sholapur line.
The parachute with the instruments suspended underneath it on a long rope usually come down to ground quite slowly. The TIFR requested persons who find the parachute and instruments not to remove them from its place of landing and to telephone or send a telegram to the address which will be given on various packages. They are also requested to contact the nearest police station, post office and district authorities about the finding. Instruments are kept inside wooden cages or large aluminum framework containers for safety.
People are advised not to open the instruments as there may be high voltage on some of the instruments, which can be dangerous. On receipt of information from finders, scientists carrying out these experiments will collect the instruments and pay the finder a suitable reward. No reward will be paid if it is found that anything has been opened or tampered with.