Monday, August 22, 2016

Pyrocumulus Cloud Over the Boise Mountain Range

On Sunday the 21st, I took this picture of a cumulus cloud over the Boise mountains. What makes it unique is its source. The Pioneer Fire is creating rising warm air. As the air rises, it cools. When air is cooled below the dew point, water condenses out. This releases more heat and causes the air to become even more buoyant. And as a result, the air rises faster and condenses even more water out to create a cumulus cloud.

You can see the smoke from the fire below the cumulus cloud. The name of this cloud is pyrocumulus.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

More Thermal Imaging Images from Near Space

Near Space mission 16G carried a BalloonSat with thermal imager and color camera. Now we can better understand the thermal images recorded. See some of the thermal and visible images at the report of the flight,                                                     

Smoky Treasure Valley

Our near space mission on July 30th took place while the Treasure Valley was swamped in smoke from forest fires. Below is one of the images we recorded.

You'll see more at the report on my website,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Near infrared Quadcopter Flight

I've uploaded a video to the NearSys channel on YouTube. The video is of a Quadcopter and the near infrared video it recorded. NIR is a part of the spectrum that chlorophyll reflects strongly. In the video you can see that farm fields have healthy and well watered plants while the house lots near my house are full of dry grasses.

The video is at,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

NearSys Flight 2016F

The most recent near space flight of NearSys occurred on July 2nd. On this mission the balloon reach 94,413 feet before bursting near Marsing, Idaho. One thing that made this flight unique is that it carried a thermal imager into near space, which I believe to be the first time a thermal imager has been to near space. Here is one of the images taken at 94,000 feet.
And here is the corresponding image from Google Earth.
You will notice that the Owyhee mountains appear in yellow. This is because they are a desert mountain range covered in dirt and dry grass. This means that they warm up very quickly in the sunlight. Canyons cutting through the mountain range appear as red streaks because they are protected from some sunlight and therefore a little bit cooler. Farmland, which is well irrigated and lush with green plants appears in blue and purple. This indicates that they are much cooler than dry dirt.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Latest Article in Nuts and Volts

Check out Nuts and Volts for June 2016. I published my 170th article and its about using a Quadcopter to test near space payloads. I plan another three Quadcopter/Near Space themed articles.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cumulonimbus Cloud Video

I just uploaded a video I animated of a rain cloud passing to the north of my house. Sill images for the video were taken every five seconds and then dumped into MS Paint. I hope next time to make a video of a rain cloud closer to home. Here's the Youtube link,