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

With four AirCores in hand, Jack, Bianca, Sonja, James, and Scott headed to Caldwell, KS to launch two more balloons today. We thought we were crafty taking time lapses of our launches, but some employees of KanOkla Networks, who welcomed us to set up camp in their backyard, filmed our launches from a drone! Thanks KanOkla… Read More

Because half of our equipment was “indisposed” as of morning, we canceled launches for the day and instead headed out to rescue the “tree’d” AirCores.  One great thing about doing launches around here is that it’s almost guaranteed that someone at the SGP ARM lab will know the land owner of the place where our… Read More

Today we launched two balloons back-to-back with (and only with) the help of the Southern Great Plains (SGP) ARM technicians, James Martin and Scott Seabridge. With their help, we are able to launch two balloons about twenty minutes apart, track the flights with two chase teams, and recover the two AirCore payloads to bring back… Read More

We’re not in Kansas anymore…. But we were briefly today! While in Oklahoma we are hoping to launch two balloons each day because we will have launching and tracking help from some of the SGP ARM technicians who have worked with us on previous visits. But since today was Sunday, we kept it simple with… Read More

Jack and Bianca arrived at the Department of Energy’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility on Saturday morning to set up and prep for the next launch.  Calling SGP ARM a “facility” is a little misleading because it is essentially a 9,000 square mile swath of north-central Oklahoma and southern Kansas that… Read More

Fun fact: We fill our weather balloons with helium to fly the AirCores, but Albuquerque, NM is the “Hot air ballooning capital of the world”. We caught a few early morning risers while heading out of town to the second pitstop on our AirCore Roadtrip: the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility in… Read More

Tim transited back to Colorado while Jack and Bianca headed straight east on U.S. 40 to Albuquerque, NM. While there are some great sites to explore in Arizona – The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park, and Meteor Crater – we opted to stay in the car and passed through as quickly as we could… Read More