Skip to main content

Dayton Engineer

White weather balloon in bright blue sky

UD Faculty and Students Collaborate with Air Force, Local Engineering Organization to Measure Atmospheric Turbulence at Different Heights

Dr. Miranda van Iersel, assistant professor in the Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics (EOP), along with graduate students Mohammad Albaqer Alghezi (EOP), Elaheh Ghanati Adams (EOP), Yujie Yang (EOP) and undergraduate student Scotty Campman (chemical engineering) recently conducted an experiment at the John Bryan State Park Observatory.

The team used a weather balloon to measure atmospheric turbulence at different heights. After inflating the balloon and elevating it 30 meters in the air, they recorded temperature data for 30 minutes. 

Once time was up, the group brought the balloon down 5 meters and repeated recording data for another 30 minutes. They continued this process for a few additional height levels.

Scotty Campman is working alongside Dr. van Iersel through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), which is sponsored by UD’s Hanley Sustainability Institute. 

Through the experiment, he learned that being patient is the key to getting the best results in his research.

“If you have a lot of variables to test, it can take a long time to run through the list and cover all your bases,” Campman said. “So you need to learn to trust the process and follow through with every step instead of trying to take shortcuts.

“This experience will definitely inform my future career or research experience by helping me remember that getting results immediately never happens.”

The team’s next step is to expand the collaboration with Applied Optimization Inc. and the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), which has a mast with sonic anemometers that measure wind speed and direction at the site. AFIT, Applied Optimization and UD will work together to compare results of their data. 

Temperature data recorded by the balloon will help van Iersel’s team determine turbulence strength at different heights. Although they are still analyzing the data, they'd like to schedule another launch this September.

Previous Post

Engineering Student Recognized with State Award for Work as Firefighter/EMT

Clayton Snider understands what it means to be busy. But he’s busy for a good reason: helping others when they need it most.

Read More
Next Post

$752,000 USDA grant will help researchers prevent food contamination

A pair of University of Dayton researchers are part of a $752,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help prevent Listeria and other contamination in food.
Read More