National Geographic : 1959 Oct
Leashed Balloon Strains to Probe the Stratosphere Twice daily each range station sends aloft radiosondes, small in strument packages that transmit data on barometric pressure, tem perature, and humidity. These atmospheric variables determine the amount of refraction, or bend ing, undergone by radio beams from missiles. Since trajectories are computed from the beams, engineers use weather reports to determine the degree of refraction, an essential correction factor in their calcu lations. The reports also aid Air Force weather forecasters. Technician Bill Freese, on Fer nando de Noronha, holds a balloon that will ascend some 100,000 feet. Off-duty technicians fish for snappers and groupers from a wave-lashed ledge at Fernando de Noronha. Range employees here enjoy some of the world's finest fishing. 456 KODACHROME (ABOVE) AND ANSCOCHROME BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER THOMAS NEBBIA © N.G.S.