Casper College Weather Balloon Test Grounded






Casper, Wyoming
- They say Chicago is the windy city, but Casper could give the city in Illinois a run for its money. The students from Casper college and the University of Wyoming have been collaborating to use weather balloons to capture images of the impending eclipse from above the stratosphere. Friday's test came careened off course as strong wind gusts and a lack of helium caused some unforeseen complications.
 
"We're trying to make sure our computer system is working correctly, trying to iron out any of the bugs that might come up,"
Phil Bergmaier a PHD student of Atmospheric Science at University of Wyoming said. "So that if we run into some problems on August 21st during the eclipse we might anticipate what those problems are and resolve them quickly."

The morning started with system hiccups that handled locating the camera equipment during its flight.
Soon it became video feeds..but after about 2 hours of debugging, it was time to fill the balloon and begin the test flight. Not enough helium. One hurdle after another. But since the balloon was already filled., the students decided to test how it would hold up to the Casper winds.

Crystal Stewart a Casper College Student was able to see a silver lining to the computer system issues.
"I felt disappointed
we didn't get it all done, but we got to work through a lot of bugs which is really good so the next time we do it we'll be able to do it a lot faster," said Stewart.

The team will try another launch on the 20th, with hopefully less wind.