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Balloon Production

One of the unique features of the TIFR Balloon Facility is the presence of a full-fledged balloon manufacturing unit within the campus.

Balloons manufactured at NBF are tailor made to meet the specific requirements of user scientists in terms of payload capability and altitude requirement.

To meet the growing demand from user scientists in X-ray Astronomy for carrying the 600 Kg. telescope along with flight support accessories to an altitude of 42 Kms., the balloon production building has been extended by 27 Metres to accommodate the 178 Metre long Balloon Work Table. Balloons of volumes upto 740,000 Cu.M. can now be fabricated 'IN HOUSE'. The size of balloon is about 70% larger than the largest balloons fabricated earlier at NBF. Further, in order to overcome the limitations in the manufacture of multiple cap balloons, the shell and the single cap thickness have been optimized to 15 micron and 38 microns respectively, instead of using the NSBF standard of 20 micron shell with two 20 micron caps. This has resulted in substantial savings in the weight of the balloons, leading to a better altitude performance. Single cell as well as capped balloons are manufactured in-house.

Sounding Balloons

NBF also manufactures small light weight sounding balloons using ultra thin (5.8 micron) films capable of reaching altitudes of up to 43 Km.

Aerodynamically Shaped Tethered Balloons (KYTOONS)

At Balloon Facility, Hyderabad, Aerodynamically Shaped Tethered Balloons also called KYTOONS can be fabricated out of POLYTHYLENE film. These Kytoons provide a stable platform for a small payload weighing from 1 Kg to 3 Kg at an altitude in the range of 500 meters to 750 meters. Kytoons are used for "In Situ" measurement of atmospheric temperature, pressure, humidity and presence of atmospheric pollutants.

The kytoons are raised to their maximum float altitude with the help of a tether and a winch. Two models of kytoons (9.92 Cu.M and 3.71 Cu.M) can be fabricated at the Balloon Facility, Hyderabad.


Material Polyethylene.
Volume 9.92 Cu.M and 3.71 Cu.M
Length 7.59 meters and 4.92 meters.
Payload 3 Kg and 1 Kg.
Altitude 750 meters and 500 meters.
Fins Inflatable, Cruciform.
Max Wind Speed 5 m/sec.