Atmospheric Data and the Prediction of Launch Points for Large Scientific Balloons

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Lizxandra Flores Rivera, University of Puerto Rico, Ponce, PR; and E. H. Teets Jr.

Wind drift task has a potential use for present and future aerospace projects at the Armstrong Flight Research Center. An algorithm on Matlab is being used to identify a potential launch point from near real-time upper level weather data. By understanding the wind profile at all layers, a launch point can be determined considering the ascent rate, 1-hour of floating time, and descent rate under parachute. The predicted flight path is displayed on a geographical map to visualize the accurate impact location. The goal is to land the desired hardware onto a safe area within Edwards Air Force Base. The algorithm easily adapts to multiple sources providing sounding data.