University of Hawaii students launch weather balloon


Dozens of University of Hawaii at Manoa students got a first-hand look at how weather balloons work.

Twenty-five students in Atmospheric 200 launched a large, helium-filled balloon with an instrument package attached to it, which measures temperature, pressure and humidity as it rises through the atmosphere.

The balloon rose about 13.5 miles into the atmosphere and sent data back to a ground receiver station monitored by students.

“We’ve been trying to understand all of these different variables in class and we always used data given to us. Now weʻre going to use our own data and make connections to what we see in the sky right above us,” said student Maarten Molenaar.

The class is taught by UH Manoa Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Alison Nugent, who appeared on KHON2 during our recent hurricane coverage.

She does this for her class every semester.

“It’s a great hands on learning experience because the students can see how the process is done. If you’re sitting in a lecture class and you only hear about these things it is so different than actually being able to experience it yourself,” she explained.

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