2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
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2017-2018 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:
Samina Ouda / Scott Battaion / Chad Naughton

Principal Investigator

Mr. Hugo Franco

Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility
Palestine, Texas

Project Web 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. The team will be housed at McMurdo Station and will commute daily to the Long Duration Balloon (LDB) 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
  • Christine Catrib-Garnier
  • Dewell Cooper
  • Juan De Luna
  • Larry Fox
  • Curtis Frazier
  • Gabriel Garde
  • Gerald Gregg
  • Scott Hadley
  • David Helfrich
  • Randall Henderson
  • Derek Hogg
  • Joseph Jones
  • Leroy Manigo
  • Otto Masters
  • Randall McDonald
  • Zbigniew Moore
  • Juan Perez Lara
  • Jacob Richard
  • Mitchell Richard
  • Christopher Schwantes
  • Delbert Spangler
  • David Sullivan (Co-PI)
  • Cesar Villasana
  • David Webb
  • Corey Weber
  • Daniel Willette
  • Curtis Wooten