Harvard scientists automate data collection with WinWedge to monitor the Ozone Layer
Harvard University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science has developed a method of analysing the ozone layer by measuring the air speed in the atmosphere and why ozone exists where it is. The research specifically involves tracking carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which offers insight into how air pollution travels and what might be effecting our ozone layer.
To tackle the challenge of collecting data from the atmosphere, the Department developed a system that utilises a carbon dioxide metre whose data is captured by a data logger. Both instruments are attached to a balloon. The data from the balloon is telemetered to a receiving unit on the ground where it is transferred through to the serial port of a personal computer running Windows 95 and WinWedge. WinWedge parses and filters the data and transfers it via dynamic data exchange (DDE) to Microsoft Excel. The data is automatically graphed and analysed by Excel.
Additionally, the Department is using S-Plus for statistical analysis of large amounts of data and Origin for graphics.
The Department’s research is used in conjunction with information gathered from satellites and measuring instruments on the ground. The project is funded by NASA and others who want to build environment-friendly aircraft.
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