PMC-Turbo Project

PMC-Turbo is a NASA Long-Duration Balloon Flight to study polar mesospheric clouds, gravity waves, and turbulence
  • Primary Instrument: Seven 16MP cameras with wide and narrow fields-of-view
  • DLR BOLIDE lidar


  1. PMC Turbo was motivated by EBEX star camera images that revealed spectacular turbulence structures
  2. Polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) occur where gravity wave dissipation and turbulence are strong
  3. PMC are sensitive tracers of turbulence morphologies - in an ideal natural laboratory

Thermal structure and PMC and balloon height

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Gondola Schematic

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PMC Cameras and Lidar Field-of View

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The PMC-Turbo mission successfully flew from Esrange in Kiruna, Sweden to northern Canada in July 2018. The landing was gentle and the full payload with 120TB of PMC images was recovered and the dataset is under analysis at GATS. The DLR BOLIDE lidar was also very successful.


We are currently processing our data to be uploaded to the Space Physics Data Facility at Some example images are located here.

Flight Track from Sweden to Canada

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