With help from NASA, UA students will launch a video camera equipped balloon during next weeks solar eclipse.
As the solar eclipse quickly approaches, NASA is looking for creative ways to record scientific data. That’s why they have assembled 55 balloon teams throughout the country to launch weather balloons over 100,000 feet in the air.
As reported by Alabama News Center, since Tuscaloosa will not witness a total eclipse, the students will launch from South Carolina State University. Their balloon will carry two cameras, one facing the moon and the other at the sun. While in the air, the balloon will monitor the outside temperature to get a better understanding on how the eclipse effects high altitude temperature.
More than just a science experiment, these engineering students will be testing real world skills they’ve learned about in the classroom. Morgan Minton, team adviser and instructor in the UA Freshman Engineering program, said,
“These skills they pick up along the way and refine are things that will make them competitive when they enter the work environment. These are skills that transcend just a high-altitude balloon project.”
The students have been preparing for their launch since 2016, and have already conducted three test flights to ensure that all runs smoothly on the big day.
The UA team is named Project Fenrir after a wolf in Norse mythology foretold to swallow the sun. Along with Miller, the teams include:
-Evan Terry, a senior in telecommunications and film from Winter Springs, Florida.
-Chandler Nichols, a junior in aerospace engineering from Chattanooga.
-Ryan Burns, a junior in aerospace engineering from Louisville.
-Annelise Frank, a junior with a concentration in computer engineering from Chicago.
-Danielle Carter, a senior in aerospace engineering from Winfield.
-Wesley Cooper, a junior in mechanical engineering from Louisville.