Description of the payload

The balloon carried a payload of approximately 3 kg composed of a ARGOS transponder with a GPS board and a Lithium battery pack.

The flight plan called for the balloon reach float altitude and circumnavigate the polar region between 78 and 80 deg. N. Throught the GPS/ARGOS payload the trajectory would be traced showing the stratospheric circulation pattern of stratospheric winds, and providing information about diurnal excursions, and potential termination/impact locations for the future LDB flights.

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome

Launch site: Longyearbyen Airport, Svalbard, Norway  
Balloon launched by: ISTAR (International Science Technology And Research
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 3000 m3
Flight identification number: PATH-1
Campaign: Arctic LDB Program Development 2003 designed to prove concept for launching larger Long Duration Balloons (LDB) in the future from Svalbard Islands
Payload weight: 3 kg

The first pathfinder balloon, called PATH-1, was launched on Sunday 15 June 2003 at 16:36 UT.

The launch was nominal and the balloon had a normal ascent up to peak altitude at 38.1 km.

However, the balloon did not stay at float altitude as expected and it slowly descended and landed in the Greenland Sea the next morning.

(extracted from the report of Kjell Bøen, Head of Operational Services)

This flight returned no usefull information due to early termination.

External references and bibliographical sources