Mapping the urban heat island in Houston, Texas

The Center for Multiscale Applied Sensing (CMAS; launched 32 Windsonds simultaneously in downtown Houston in an attempt to gain further insights on the 3D structure of the urban heat island.

“Typically, we launch giant weather balloons in open fields to measure temperature and humidity up to 24 miles in the sky. There isn’t sufficient space in cities for the giant balloons to rise without hitting obstacles, and they may rise through navigable airspace and disturb flight traffic. Instead, we tried to use miniaturized instruments that can be lifted by party balloons that don’t fly as high as weather balloons but fly high enough to capture data in the region of the atmosphere that impacts people the most.”
– Katia Lamer, Director of operations and Assistant scientist, Center for Multiscale Applied Sensing

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