Oral Presentation Only

Balloon borne stratospheric night-time and day-time thermal wake differential temperature measurements

  • Alisha Wiedmeier (St. Catherine University)
  • Ngozi Ezenagu (St. Catherine University)
  • Erick Paul Agrimson (St. Catherine University)
  • Rachel DuBose (SkyWater Technology Foundry)
  • Brittany Craig (General Dynamics)
  • Alynie Walter (St. Catherine University)
  • Grace Maki (St. Catherine University)
  • Ana Taylor (St. Catherine University)
  • Rachel Lang (St. Catherine University)
  • Peace Sinyigaya (St. Catherine University)
  • Viviana Montenegro Cortez (St. Catherine University)
  • Vina Onyango-Robshaw (St. Catherine University)
  • Kaye Smith (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
  • James Flaten (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
  • Gordon McIntosh (University of Minnesota–Morris)


We present summer 2018 results related to stratospheric temperature measurements collected using a 3.5m “wake boom” structure, which we have used to characterize the magnitude and extent of the thermal wake below an ascending high altitude balloon. The “wake boom” structure uses over 20 calibrated temperature sensors set at intervals along a horizontal carbon fiber rod. Summer 2018 data confirms thermal wake profile data taken in 2016 during a night flight, as well as daytime temperature profiles collected during the summer of 2017. To present how the thermal wake grows as our balloons ascend through the stratosphere, we compared the average temperature of the ten central temperature sensors to the average of the four outermost sensors on the wake structure. This method clearly shows a daytime wake that warms in the center as the balloon ascends and a night time wake that cools in the center during ascent, as predicted by Tiefenau et al. (1) Using this method we also present data from the August 21st, 2017, total solar eclipse, which show a unique wake profile, an “eclipse” thermal wake. (1) Tiefenau, H. and Gebbeken, A. Influence of meteorological balloons on Temperature Measurements with Radiosondes: Nighttime Cooling and Daylight Heating, J. Atmos. and Oceanic Tech. 6 (36–42), 1989.

How to Cite:

Wiedmeier, A., Ezenagu, N., Agrimson, E. P., DuBose, R., Craig, B., Walter, A., Maki, G., Taylor, A., Lang, R., Sinyigaya, P., Montenegro Cortez, V., Onyango-Robshaw, V., Smith, K., Flaten, J. & McIntosh, G., (2018) “Balloon borne stratospheric night-time and day-time thermal wake differential temperature measurements”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2018(1). doi: https://doi.org//ahac.11070



Published on
26 Oct 2018