Wind Monitor

NASA needed a way to make high-resolution measurements of the wind profile before launching Saturn vehicles. The standard smooth-surface weather balloons zigzagged or spiraled as they ascended due to air vortices that shed off the surface at various positions, which made accurate radar-tracking measurement impossible. A Marshall Space Flight Center engineer modified the surface of the balloons with conical dixie cups, which stabilized them. Now produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation, the Jimsphere is the standard device at all U.S. missile/launch vehicle ranges.
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
MSFC-SO-7
Patent Status: 
Agency
NASA
Region
Southeast
State: 
Alabama
Phone: 
256-544-9151
Email: 
terry.taylor@nasa.gov
Lab Representatives
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