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David Bricker
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, March 28, 2011

High-altitude balloon launch is Bloomington's first, scientists say

March 28, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Members of the Atmospheric Science Program at IU Bloomington have invited scientists from Taylor University to perform the first high-altitude balloon release in Bloomington history, its overseers believe. The launch is planned for Wednesday (March 30) at 9:30 a.m. in Dunn Meadow.

Taylor University's Hank Voss, Don Takehara and Jeff Dailey will be on hand to describe the instrumentation that will accompany the balloon spaceward. More information about Taylor's balloon launches can be found on the Web at:

Weather balloon

Photo courtesy of Don Takehara

Print-Quality Photo

"We are excited that professors Voss and Takehara were able to bring sophisticated meteorological science instrumentation to Bloomington," said IU Bloomington atmospheric scientist and professor of geography Rebecca Barthelmie, who is organizing the event. "We will show our students how challenging these types of measurements are and how to interpret them to advance understanding of meteorology."

Barthelmie said she invited the Taylor University researchers to campus to augment several IU Bloomington meteorology and atmospheric science classes.

"This will encourage our students to think about the structure of the atmosphere and the complexity involved in making measurements of meteorological variables like temperature and wind speed from the ground up to 100,000 feet," she said.

Following the balloon release, data from onboard sensors will be streamed back in real time. At 4 p.m., Voss will give a lecture in the Gill Center at MSBII, during which he plans to discuss the data collected and make it available for students to analyze.

Both the launch and lecture are free and open to the public.

The event is supported by Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Multi-Disciplinary Ventures Fund.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Barthelmie, IU Bloomington Department of Geography, at 812-856-5135 or, or Don Takehara, Taylor University Department of Physics and Engineering, at 765-998-4606 or