In 1892, Besançon and scientist Gustave Hermite sent instruments on fabric or paper balloons into the upper atmosphere for meteorological research. In 1901, Hermite and Besançon sent up small instrumented rubber balloons that were designed to expand until at a high altitude they would burst. Then their instruments would descend by parachute.
Besançon founded the aeronautical periodical L'Aérophile in 1893, and remained its director until at least 1910. There he covered and reported on the era in which the airplane was invented and an international airplane industry arose.
- University of Michigan library record
- L'Aérophile Collection Overview, Science References Services of the Library of Congress
- Czech, Kenneth P. "Swedish-Led Artic [sic] Expedition in a Balloon Led to a Tragic End" at historynet.com, originally from Aviation History magazine
- "Early Scientific Balloons" at avstop.com
- L'Aérophile, Jan 1, 1910 cover at archive.org scanned from Smithsonian Institution Library