2021-2022 Science Planning Summaries
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2021-2022 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

NASA Long Duration Balloon (LDB) support program

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A-145-M Research Location(s): 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)

Undefined Hugo Franco
Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility
Palestine, Texas

Project Web Site:


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


The NASA / Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) provides the balloon platform and project oversight for balloon launches out of the facility on the Ross Ice Shelf. This season CSBF plans to launch three large balloons and one hand-held balloon. Launches are scheduled during December and may extend to early January. The "Payloads" consist of the science instruments, command, and control systems with solar or battery power units. The bulk of the data collected is stored on onboard hard drives, with a small amount of data sent by radio telemetry to the science team’s home institution. CSBF coordinates the integration and launch of the test flight hand-launched balloon payload LAURA (Long durAtion evalUation solaR hand lAunch). The goal of LAURA is to test, validate, and raise the technology readiness level (TRL) of CSBF support equipment for future Science flights out of Antarctica and Sweden.

Field Season Overview

Five participants will deploy to McMurdo Station to complete inspections and maintenance on Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) assets at LDB. This work will include repairing the launch vehicle and loader, inspecting the helium stores, retrograding equipment, and recovering SuperTIGER2 flight computers. ASC will deploy the LDB facility manager/implementer to McMurdo Station to support CSBF in completing its season objectives, coordinate and support the planned ASC facility upgrades, and prepare the facility for full return to launch capabilities in the 2022-23 season.

Deploying Team Members

  • Scott Battaion
  • Garrison Breeding
  • Randall McDonald
  • Corey Weber
  • Kaija Webster