Lessons and Goals

High Altitude Ballooning

Each student who participates in the Summer Institute of High-Altitude Ballooning will:

  • Learn the models which quantitatively describe the physical properties of Earth’s atmosphere
  • Learn the basic physics involved in helium-balloon flights
  • Make ground-based measurements (using electronic sensors) of
    • Temperature
    • Atmospheric pressure
    • Magnetic fields
    • Acceleration
    • GPS coordinates
  • Learn to program an Arduino microcomputer and to interface it with analog and digital sensors
  • Learn to operate stand-alone remote sensors as well as cameras (video and still)
  • Use web-based atmospheric modeling and mapping tools to predict the path of a balloon flight
  • Help to build a balloon payload box including housings for sensors and cameras
  • Participate in an actual helium balloon flight including-launch, tracking, and recovery
  • Analyze the pictures and data retrieved from the balloon flight to test models of the atmosphere