Operation Hardtack. Project 9.2b. Operation of Balloon Carrier for Very-High-Altitude Nuclear Detonation.
Interim technical rept.,
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS HANSCOM AFB MA
Pagination or Media Count:
The project provided a platform for a nuclear device and measurement instrumentation at a pressure altitude of 85,000 feet 16-12 millibars by means of a large plastic balloon. The original plan called for a development program based on a pay load of 600 pounds and a floating altitude of approximately 90,000 feet. The actual weight was increased in small increments to a final weight of 761.5 pounds, with a corresponding decrease in altitude to 85,500 feet. The balloon system was launched from the deck of the USS Boxer CVS-21. Prior to reaching ceiling altitude, the nuclear device was separated from the balloon a distance of 568 feet by a hydraulic load lowering device, and the measurement instrumentation was additionally deployed along a nylon line at specific intervals totaling 3,000 feet below the nuclear device. Both the load lowering device and the instrumentation deployment system were developed by the project. Because of the support nature of the project mission, this report does not contain weapon effect data. It is concluded that the large, plastic, constant volume balloon vehicle provided a stable and reliable platform for the very high altitude nuclear detonation, Shot Yucca.
- Nuclear Weapons