The RouteThe Yukon XL CIRES/NOAA GMD scientists set off this summer with some high aspirations (no pun intended…) to deploy AirCores in three different sites within the Total Column Carbon Observing Network (TCCON): Edwards Air Force Base near Palmdale, California; Lamont, Oklahoma; and Park Falls, Wisconsin.  Our goals for this campaign were threefold: Let ‘er… 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


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


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


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