Dropsonde: The Workhorse of Hurricane Hunting
Dropsondes are lightweight cylinders loaded with sensors that are ejected from airplanes into powerful hurricanes. As they fall, they gather data about the air pressure, temperature, humidity, windspeed and wind direction.
Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on a team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research that designs and builds the so-called "sondes," using them to take vertical slices of the atmosphere as the cylinder falls.
Miles reports for the National Science Foundation's* Science Nation on the technology, what it teaches scientists about storm patterns and the 600 dropsondes deployed to map the Antarctic atmosphere.
*For the record, the National Science Foundation is an underwriter of the NewsHour.