A radiosonde is a small instrument package tethered to a weather balloon. Radiosondes take a vertical profile of the atmosphere as the balloon ascends to altitudes up to 115,000 feet. The data is relayed by radio transmitter to a computer at the surface.
Each radiosonde measures atmospheric pressure, air temperature, dew point/humidity, and wind velocity. Additionally, radiosondes can be equipped with ozone and radiation sensors.
Students launch radiosondes as part of their coursework and when performing research. Students are also involved in educating the public about radiosondes during science fairs and open houses located across New England.