Research and Class Projects
Miscellanious Fieldwork Activities
Research and Class Projects
January 8th-13th, 2022: Stratospheric Balloon and Ozonesonde Launches
2022 is now here, but as far as fieldwork goes, it's gonna be a doozy! COVID-19 has caused the delay of many campaigns, and now the majority of them are happening back-to-back this year :o To ease myelf into what will be a 'turbulent' next several months, I participated in a small campaign called Baby-BIRDIE which involved launching stratospheric balloons. This was done for a week at
OU's Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station
, and the launches were conducted by a team of about 15 different students and researchers. The purpose of this campaign was to practice collecting stratospheric atmospheric data for 2022 fieldwork down the road, specifically
. Balloons about 8-10 feet in diameter were released both as single and tandem launches, and were able to reach about 27 km! I was able to help out with keeping the balloon tethered as it was inflating and taking lifting-weight measurements. Even more beneficial to me was the Doppler Lidar truck which drove up to take wind measurements before, during, and after the launches. I got to practice setting up the lidar from inside the truck, which was great practice for the many upcoming field campaigns. Ozonesondes were also attached to the balloons later in the week to get even more valuable observations.
December 8th, 2021: UAS Training
This week, I've been involved in training to learn how to operate different uncrewed aerial systems (UAS)! There are primarily 3 roles needed to complete a UAS mission: an pilot, a visual observer, and a ground station operator. The pilot directly controls the instrument with a remote controller, and must maintain visual line-of-sight of the UAS at all times. The visual observer serves as a second pair of eyes to locate planes or other airborne objects that might not otherwise be seen (and, on a bright, sunny day, it's best to have a pair of sunglasses handy)! Lastly, the ground station operator is in charge of communication and recording the necessary checklist items for a safe and successful mission. The training pictured below is for the CopterSonde, and everyone got to practice completing all 3 roles. The week-long training also consisted of learning about the Trinity F90+ and Terraview X8Pro. It was a pretty neat experience, and I certainly see UAS instruments are gaining more traction in the research community! Ignore the dead grass in one photo and the green grass in the other; it's not like they were taken at separate times in the year or anything like that :P
Here's some more information about the cool stuff that has been done at OU using these systems!