Friday, August 3, 2018 The day dawned with a layer of fog blanketing the Schnur Lake area but by 7:30am the fog had lifted and we could see beautiful blue skies.  It looked like a perfect day for a launch and comparison with the TCCON, the EM-27s and the OCO-2 satellite – a great way… Read More

After prepping, launching, chasing, and retrieving, the final step is to measure the AirCore sample for atmospheric trace gas species: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and carbon monoxide (CO). To do this, we hook up our AirCore to a trace gas analyzer that measures CO2, CH4, CO, and water vapor.   What an AirCore sample looks… Read More

Wednesday – Thursday, August 1-2, 2018 Wednesday dawned with cloudy skies and rain, and then carried on that way throughout the day.  Luckily the weather forecast had been spot-on, so we pretty much had planned on a down day.  Poor Jack!  This would have been his first real down day since the weekend before the… Read More

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 The software that we use to predict a launch point so the payload will travel to our intended landing point pointed us to an area today that was inaccessible by GMC Yukon, so we were toodling around about five miles away surrounded by tall trees.  We went down one small dirt… Read More

Monday, July 30, 2018 While Tim did the morning prep of the AirCores at the cabin, Jack and Sonja drove into Park Falls to check with the US Forest Service about launching at Newman Lake.  They welcomed it but, anticipating questions, they sent word to let nearby residents know in advance.  And so the the… Read More

Jack and Sonja picked up Tim shortly after noon at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport and started heading east and north to get to Park Falls, Wisconsin.  We felt like all we saw in northern Wisconsin was tall trees and signs for boat launches…..  should be interesting AirCore recoveries….   We moved our stuff into a… Read More

Rainy Iowa A fairly easy day today….  Bianca hopped out at the Kansas City Airport to fly back to Denver in the morning.  Jack and Sonja continued up I-35 for a rainy drive to St. Paul, Minnesota.  The only really noteworthy thing was a stop at Cabela’s to check into buying some tree “climbing sticks”,… Read More

We’re starting to feel like old pros here.  This morning we drove to a spot just north of Wakita, OK, a town noteworthy for having been featured in the 1996 film “Twister”.  In the movie, the town is destroyed by a tornado.  We parked at the end of a closed dirt road, set up our… Read More

Much as we cannot control the weather, we cannot control  the flight path of the AirCore. However, before we launch, we can get a sense of where the balloon will drift over time by using a trajectory model developed by Allen Jorden in NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division. This software program takes data from regular weather… Read More

We woke up this morning to completely overcast skies.  At the start of this trip we of course an ticipated there would be weather-related cancellations, but today’s sky cover was disappointing because it was the day the OCO-2 satellite was set to target observations over SGP ARM.  We checked numerous weather forecasting resources to see… Read More