Long-duration balloon flights from Spitzbergen

Updated 2003-03-04

The Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with CNR, would like to develop a balloon launch site at Ny-Ålesund. The polar stratospheric air circulation pattern can make it possible to perform Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Flights. The balloons would circumnavigate the northern Polar Regions collecting data in astrophysics, aeronomy, as well as other atmospheric, cosmic and biological sciences. The location on Svalbard is interesting for LDB flights because of : o easy access and transportation of equipment /material/personnel o well established infrastructures/support organization o the flight would occur over mostly unmanned areas o the recovery of the payload could easily happen on the land Currently two experiments are being built as LDB payloads in anticipation of launching from Ny-Ålesund in 2004 and 2005. These are astro-physics experiments to observe the galactic and cosmic microwave radiation. This facility would accommodate science teams from both Italy and around the world.

Comments and additional information:

This is an italian project! ASI/CNR welcome all parties interested in a collaborative effort in LDB platforms.

Time frame

Project time span
2003 - 2005
Data collection
2003 - 2005
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Dr. Maurizio Candidi
Instituto Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Tor Vergata, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100 snc, Roma 00133 Italy.
+39 06 4993 4562
+39 06 4993 4592
Other project contacts
Dr. Roland Neuber Alfred-Wegener-Institut for polar and marine research Telegrafenberg A43 D-14473 Potsdam tel: +49-331-288-2129 fax: +49-331-288-2178 neuber@awi-potsdam.de

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

astrophysical, aeronomical


Regions studied
Arctic, Circumpolar
Koldewey Station, Ny-Ålesund/Spitsbergen

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) anticipates launching up to two Pathfinder balloon from Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard in 2003, in the timeframe between end of April and end of June, to prove the air circulation pattern over the pole. These will be 5000 m3 balloons with ARGOS downlink communication and no commanding. The goal is to use the information gained from the Pathfinder data sets to then determine if launching from Ny-Ålesund will be feasible for the LDB payloads.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Please log in to edit this record