2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

NASA Long Duration Balloon (LDB) support program

no photo available
A-145-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station / Long-Duration Balloon Facility


Event Number:
NSF / NASA Agreement

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

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

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Hugo Franco
Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility
Palestine, Texas

Project Web Site:


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


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 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

  • Aaron Anderson
  • Brian Bath
  • Scott Battaion
  • Alexander Beange
  • Garrison Breeding
  • Christine Catrib-Garnier
  • Mark Cobble
  • Mark Cobble
  • Dewell Cooper
  • Juan De Luna
  • Larry Fox
  • Curtis Frazier
  • Gerald Gregg
  • Scott Hadley
  • Andrew Hamilton
  • Jack Hays
  • Randall Henderson
  • Derek Hogg
  • Arlo Johnson
  • Joseph Jones
  • Michael Jones
  • Leroy Manigo
  • Justin Marsh
  • Otto Masters
  • Scott McDaniel
  • Randall McDonald
  • Robyn Millan
  • Scott Miller
  • Zbigniew Moore
  • Matthew Mullin
  • Jacob Richard
  • Mitchell Richard
  • Christopher Schwantes
  • Delbert Spangler
  • Robert Stelly
  • David Sullivan (Co-PI)
  • Cesar Villasana
  • Corey Weber
  • Danny Williams
  • Curtis Wooten