Purpose of the flight and payload description

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

Balloon launched on: 7/9/2003 at 10:41
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-4
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 7/9/2003 at 15:30
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 5 h
Landing site: 15 kms away from launch site
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 fourth pathfinder balloon, called PATH-4 was sucessfully launched on July 9th, 2003 at 10:41 UT.

The ascent was nominal up to the peak floating altitude at 38.5 km. After floating at this height for aproximately 1.5 hours it started to rapidly descend and impacted 15 km from the launching site around 15:30 UT.

A sucessfully recovery operation was performed, and the payload was prepared for another launch.

(extracted from the report of Petter Dragøy, Range Safety Engineer)

This flight returned no usefull information due to early termination.

External references

Images of the mission

Launch preparation fron the air strip of the Longyearbyen airport        

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