2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

The Balloon Air Sampler (BAS) experiment: Capture and analyses of noble-gas isotopes at high elevation above Antarctica

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A-378-M Research Location(s): Long-Duration Balloon Facility


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Kaija Webster / Chad Naughton

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Alexander NMI Meshik
Washington University
Saint Louis, Missouri


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Long-Duration Balloon Facility


This project will capture air samples at high elevation over Antarctica for noble-gas isotope analyses. These analyses will allow researchers to set the limit on preferential (to krypton) xenon loss due to enhanced ionization and therefore could provide an explanation for "missing terrestrial xenon," a long-standing "xenon paradox."

Field Season Overview

This is a piggyback experiment on the SuperTIGER (A-142-M) balloon-borne instrument. It will be shipped to Antarctica with the SuperTIGER equipment and will be bolted onto the instrument before launch by SuperTIGER personnel. In the event of a data recovery only this year, the team requests that their experiment be recovered along with the SuperTIGER data vaults. Launch and retrieval operations will be handled by the SuperTIGER team.