UMD Weather Balloon
WHO ARE WE?
We are a collaborative group within the Atmospheric and Oceanic Science department (AOSC) comprised of UMD undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, adjunct faculty with NOAA and NASA, and weather enthusiasts. We are working to provide our own weather observations for classroom lessons, publicly available forecasts, and development of hands on skills for undergraduate and graduate students.
OUR WEATHER BALLOON PROJECT:
We are seeking funds for a radiosonde balloon system for the UMD campus as well as portable usage. During a launch, this system will provide live-feeds of atmospheric conditions such as temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed, and wind direction all the way up to over 25,000 feet above the surface of the earth! This data will then be processed, analyzed, archived, and made available to the public. In addition, we will use our data to provide our own in-house forecasts and broadcasts. In an effort to further evolve and enhance our recently established undergraduate atmospheric and oceanic science program, this project would provide numerous students with the following:
- Hands on skills useful for jobs in both government and private sector (such as the National Weather Service or contracting position)
- Undergraduate research projects and mandatory senior research projects
- Skill sets and research experience appealing for graduate school applications
This weather balloon project is a means through which students will become physically engaged with the data they work with by providing them with technical skills along side of their theoretical background.
HELP US SEND THIS PROJECT SOARING!
Weather affects us every day, whether it is how to dress to get to classes and remembering an umbrella, driving safely to and from campus in severe or winter weather, or class cancellation and snowball fight planning. With this project, we will be able to extend our expertise to the campus and community for public safety by utilizing our own observations and forecasts while providing training to those trying to build his or her meteorological career. With your support, you could help us achieve our goal!
BREAKDOWN OF BUDGET:
Generally, scientific instrumentation does not come cheap. Fortunately we found a novel, low-cost radiosonde system with specifications and software needed to conduct our campaign within our budget of $7,000! The breakdown is comprised of:
- Receiver and Software for data collection
- 10 high-accuracy reusable radiosondes
- 25% VAT tax for export from Sweden
- Dedicated Windows Laptop for field work
- Helium and miscellaneous supplies
The receiver, software, and computer are a one-time purchase. The radiosondes are recoverable through GPS and reusable, but may become damaged or lost after subsequent uses so we would like to buy 10 now. Finally, helium and additional balloons would be purchased to provide enough supplies for 1-2 years of use.
WEBSITES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
AOSC Department homepage: http://aosc.umd.edu
Windsond website: http://windsond.com/
More information on radiosondes (via NOAA): http://www.ua.nws.noaa.gov/factsheet.htm
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.