ANITA is conceptually an antenna or antenna array optimized to detect impulsive RF events with a characteristic signature established by careful modeling and experimental measurements. The two top clusters have 8 antennas each while the bottom clusters houses 16 antennas with an additional 8 added to the ANITA II payload. The gondola structure consists primarily of an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame with a matrix of tubular components pinned together via a combination of joints and fasteners.
Support for NASA Long Duration Balloon (LDB) payload launches and in-ﬂight services is provided through the staff of the Columbia Scientiﬁc Balloon Facility (CSBF), based in Palestine, Texas, USA. Together with CSBF support instrumentation, ANITA electronics and RF hardware, The ANITA instrument is designed to fly over the continent of Antarctica – the location of some of the most pure ice in the world as well as one of the most radio quiet spots on earth. Flying at 120,000ft (~ 37 km) the instrument can observe ~1.5 million square kilometers of ice while searching for radio signals originating from the Antarctic ice.