Climate Change Project
Develop and Launch meteorological radiosonde from Houghton for the purpose of taking atmospheric measurements (such as radiation, temperature, pressure, humidity, chemical partial pressures, wind speed, etc.). Your radiosonde will travel to near space altitudes (as high as 20miles) where the atmospheric pressure is ~1% that on Earth. As it rises, the radiosonde will transmit atmospheric data, images, and its present position back to a central radio station at Houghton College. You will also be responsible for retrieval of the radiosonde, once it has landed. The typical radiosonde will consist of an Arduino microcontroller connected to a system of sensors (purchased or developed) specifically designed to address the question decided upon by the group. The radiosonde will travel by means of a several foot diameter He balloon and return to Earth via a parachute. All government regulations must be followed, including weight and velocity limits, a predictions of the radiosonde's trajectory, and two independent cutdown systems. As an added safety precaution, you will automate a cutdown system that is triggered if the radiosonde leaves a predefined region.
For this project, you will be given a strict budget. It will be up to you to make an initial proposal, submit purchase orders for all necessary equipment, and turn in receipts and transaction reports throughout the course of the project.
As with all scientific experiments, public relations and the dissemination of results are of most importance. To this end, you will present your work to the local public before and during the launch. This will include both speeches and visual displays of the experiment and data. You will also publish your apparatus, data, analysis, and conclusions on the Houghton College website.
To assess the effects of temperature change in aquatic ecosystems, the group will study the changes in molecular physiology of salmonid fish.
Handouts and materials related to the projects will be placed here as needed. Check back soon.