The LPCA is equipped with a tethered balloon that can reach an altitude of 200 meters, allowing it to monitor the evolution of fine particles present in particular in the plumes emitted by the chimneys of various industries.
The nacelle of this balloon can accommodate instruments intended to determine the size of the particles present, but also their shape and their chemical composition, after collecting these particles on membranes suitable for these analyses. During a measurement campaign, this balloon is typically deployed in parallel with LIDAR-type optical systems, intended to precisely determine the position and altitude of the plumes being studied.
On August 29, 2023, a test flight was successfully carried out in Calais. With a small team of 3 people (Pascal FLAMENT, Nicolas HOUZEL and Fabien MARTEEL), the balloon was able to take flight approximately 1 hour after arriving on site, demonstrating the ease and speed of implementation of this equipment.