Balloon Research Workshop

April 16 - 18, 2009

Orangeburg Countiy, South Carolina



South Carolina State University hosted a balloon research workshop April 16-18, 2009 for students and faculty members.  Partner institutions include Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, the University of Houston - Downtown campus and Medgar Evers College of Brooklyn, New York. Super Sod provided a balloon launch site in rural east Orangeburg County. The secound launch site was relocated to a private field in east Orangeburg County near the community of Cope due to projected wind patterns which would have taken the balloon over Charleston.

The SCSU event is the third workshop among the partners that is funded under a grant from the National Science Foundation. Previous workshops were held in New York and in Texas.  The purpose of the program is to build research capability at the schools using balloon platforms.

A total of three balloon launches were scheduled during the workshop, but due to a change in launch sites just two were made. . Each balloon carried a small payload that measured ozone content in the atmosphere from ground level up to nearly 100,000 feet, almost 20 miles above the surface of the Earth.  During the approximately three hours of flight time, equipment on the balloon radio data to the ground such as altitude, temperature, relative humidity and the amount of ozone in the air.  The data will be analyzed by students and faculty members and later published as part of a much larger study of how the amount of ozone in the atmosphere varies with time and location.



First Launch



Ozonesonde portion of the payload recovered approximately 1 wk after launch. 51 miles off the coast of Wilmington, NC by a fishman.

prep1 prep3

For future reference this balloon was designated SC001.








Second Launch

secpnd balloon launch


Balloon SC002 was recovered by a farmer near Summerville, SC. Found in trees in September 2009 once summer foliage had fallen