TIFR to launch weather balloons to study pollution

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research will be launching a series of weather balloons for conducting scientific experiments from November 15 to April 13. The tests are being carried out under the auspices of ISRO and Department of Atomic Energy.

The balloons are huge and range from 50 meters to 85 meters in diameter and are filled with Hydrogen gas. They are made of thin polyethene plastic films and will be launched between 9 pm and 6.30 a.m. The first flight is expected to happen in the third week of November.

The balloons will sail heavenwards and can go to heights in between 30 km and 42 km depending upon the experiments being undertaken. The balloons will be carrying research instruments and will then return down on large, colored parachutes.

The parachutes will drift in the prevailing winds and can land anywhere within a radius of 200 km to 350 km from Hyderabad. It means the balloons can be anywhere on the

The balloons, which will carry scientific instruments for research at high altitudes, are expected to reach heights between Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad-Sholapur line in the areas of AP, North Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra States.

Scientists have appealed to the citizens to report immediately if they come across any such parachutes with instruments attached to it. Researchers have also asked residents not to tamper with the instruments aboard the parachute. Citizens can send a message by telephone or send a telegram to the address imprinted on different packages.

The instruments are very sensitive, and the data aboard the instruments will be lost if they tamper. The tools are safe, but some of them could be having high voltages and therefore must not be opened under any circumstances. On receipt of information scientist will collect the instruments and also reimburse the expenses incurred in the process along with suitable reward. However, there will be no reward if the devices are tampered with.