2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

NASA Long Duration Balloon (LDB) support program

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF / NASA Agreement

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Cara Sucher / Chad Naughton / Scott Battaion

Principal Investigator

Mr. Gerald Dwayne Orr

Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility
Palestine, Texas

Project Web Site:
http://www.csbf.nasa.gov External US Government Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Williams Field


This austral summer the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) will launch three stratospheric balloons as part of NASA's Long-Duration Balloon (LDB) program. The balloons measure 400 feet in diameter, expand to a volume of 40 million cubic feet, and ascend at a rate of about 900 feet per minute to a float altitude of 125,000 feet. Because of the Antarctic wind pattern that starts in early December, the balloons will circumnavigate Antarctica between 70° and 80° south latitude. Payload are composed of scientific instruments, command and control systems, and solar- and/or battery-powered units. The bulk of the data collected is stored using onboard hard drives, with a small amount sent by radio telemetry to the United States.

Field Season Overview

Field team members will facilitate the preparation, launch, and recovery of NASA-sponsored high-altitude balloons and science payloads. They will be housed at McMurdo Station and will commute daily to the Williams Field launch facility. Balloon and payload preparations are timed to coincide with favorable weather and wind patterns. Upon termination of the flights, recovery teams will use fixed-wing and/or helicopter support to retrieve the payloads.

Deploying Team Members

  • Alexander Beange
  • Paul Brasfield
  • Garrison Breeding
  • Mark Cobble
  • Dewell Cooper
  • Larry Fox
  • Curtis Frazier
  • Gerald Gregg
  • Scott Hadley
  • Randall Henderson
  • Joseph Jones
  • Joshua King
  • Janet Letchworth
  • Otto Masters
  • Randall McDonald
  • Bobby Meazell
  • Robert Mullenax
  • Gerald Orr (PI)
  • Juan Perez Lara
  • Jacob Richard
  • Delbert Spangler
  • David Sullivan (Co-PI)
  • Jeffrey Tuttle
  • Julia Uberuaga
  • Cesar Villasana
  • David Webb
  • Corey Weber
  • Daniel Willette