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    Courtesy of David Greenberg

From: David Greenberg
Veracruz, March 22, 2006

Pollutants on the Ground

The CMET balloon group launched two balloons on March 18 which had very successful flights. The balloons were purposely brought down as they approached US airspace over the Gulf of Mexico. By doing 'soundings' -- forcing the balloons to go above and then below their usual altitudes of about 4000 meters -- we were able to discover winds going in different directions at different altitudes. This is important data in relation to air pollutant transport in the atmosphere.

On the way back from Mexico City, where the balloons were launched, to Veracruz, we tested a prototype of a new portable air quality monitoring system manufactured by my company, PAX Analytics, Inc.. The system consisted of a GPS sensor, which provides longitude, latitude and time, as well as sensors for the measurement of ambient levels of carbon monoxide and ozone. The picture above is a Google Earth plot showing carbon monoxide (CO) (red) and ozone (O3) (blue). The plots are scaled for easy viewing and what is important here is not so much the actual values, but the relative levels during different parts of the trip. The data appears to validate the model which stated that pollution flow was in a northeasterly direction on March 18.

You can find out more about Carbon monoxide and Ozone by following these links.

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