2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna IV (ANITA IV) experiment
Dr. Peter Gorham
University of Hawaii Manoa
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) project was a long-duration-balloon (LDB) mission to constrain the origin of the highest-energy particles in the universe. This fourth ANITA flight, ANITA IV, observed radio impulses that are thought to originate from both ultra-high-energy cosmic neutrino interactions in the ice and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays in the Antarctic atmosphere. During the 2017-18 austral summer season, the ANITA IV payload will be collected from the landing site.
Field Season Overview
An advance team of three to four will arrive first and begin setup and initial mechanical integration at the Long Duration Balloon (LDB) facility. With ASC assistance, they will unload their equipment and set up power and network distribution. The rest of the team will arrive in November and while they await the OK for launch by the NASA Balloon support team, some of the science team will continue payload integration and testing, while others will deploy several ground calibration systems that will help validate the payload just after it reaches float altitude the day of the launch. Once the launch-ready state is attained, the system will be exercised continuously, gathering engineering and calibration data until a successful launch is achieved. After the launch, two groups of two people will deploy to two different locations via fixed-wing aircraft. At that point, the team will begin an intensive 36-48 hour period where the payload is exercised via line-of-sight telemetry and all of the flight systems are tuned for the flight duration. At the end of the line-of-sight period, the team will decrease by about half, and, if the flight continues in good order, the team will decrease down to three or four members who await the landing and recovery, and who will be tasked with the final packing and retrieval of the data vaults. Contractor support required for the final recovery is dependent on the circumstances of the landing.
Deploying Team Members