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We describe a method to measure the solar scattered UV radiance and trace gases in the upper troposphere and stratosphere using a spectrograph carried by high-altitude balloons. The flights have been conducted over tropical regions near urban areas. The instrumentation was developed using off-the-shelf components and can be easily reproduced. We describe the design of the instrument, its operation in flight and discuss some flight result. Observations of the scattered solar radiance weredoi:10.5194/amt-2016-98 fatcat:oihlavywkrhwzkfngrgl3lhosy