STAFF PHOTO BY MADELINE REIDA
A Styrofoam box insulates an electrochemical concentration cell ozonesonde from -20 degree temperatures during its 115,000-foot descent.
Weather equipment lands in Lincolnville
When Daniel Rudolph saw and heard a very noisy Styrofoam box hanging Saturday from a tree on his property three miles from Lincolnville, he thought it was a bomb.
It was an electrochemical concentration cell ozonesonde, an instrument sent into the atmosphere by balloon in Salina by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
While suspended up to 115,000 feet in the atmosphere, it sent ozone and meteorological information for two hours to a ground station. The data may help meteorologists improve forecasts and provide earlier warnings for natural disasters.
Rudolph said it was the first piece of weather equipment he’s ever found.
Rudolph mailed it to a research laboratory in Boulder, CO, per instructions inside the bundle. He will receive a $50 reward for recovering the equipment.