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-6
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 sixth pathfinder balloon called PATH-6 was launched on July 12th, at 15:50 UT.

It had a normal ascend up to float level at 39 km altitude. As it kept on floating throughout the evening, the campaign team was very happy to finally have a successful balloon!. The trajectory data from PATH-6 kept streaming in July 13th giving an expected westward trajectory. On early July 14th the balloon started to descend very slowly for an unknown reason.

After several days on float at approximately 10 km, PATH-6 started to descend again on July 17th.

After impact it was decided to cancel the operation for the year.

This flight returned no usefull information due to early termination.

External references and bibliographical sources