PAWAN has been in the business of manufacturing high quality Meteorological Balloons/Weather Balloons since 1968. Our Meteorological Balloons / Weather Balloons are used regularly by the Indian as well as International Meteorological Agencies for their daily upper air observations in gathering accurate data via upper air measurements. Our 1200 gm meteorological balloon (CPR-1200) is the standard weather balloon size used by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) for their high altitude meteorological balloon flights. ISRO and various other Indian and International research organizations also use PAWAN meteorological balloons in extreme climatic conditions in Antarctica.
Meteorological Balloons/Weather Balloons are manufactured using a highly elastic latex material and come in various sizes depending on the payload and burst altitude requirements. Meteorological Balloons/Weather Balloons are usually inflated with hydrogen or helium to provide lift necessary to carry the payload into space. The ascent rate is controlled by the amount of gas used to inflate the balloon. Burst altitude achieved by a weather balloons is dependent on various factors such as ascent rate (free lift), launch conditions, upper air weather conditions, payload as well as balloon handling and storage prior to launch.
There are over a 1000 sites worldwide that do routine meteorological balloon/weather balloon launches, twice daily, usually at 0000 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) and 1200 UTC. Some facilities will also do occasional supplementary "special" releases when meteorologists determine there is a need for additional data between the 12 hour routine launches in which time much can change in the atmosphere. Military and civilian government meteorological agencies typically launch weather balloons, and by international agreements almost all the data is shared with all nations. There is also a very active high altitude weather ballooning ‘hobby’ community.
Specialized uses also exist, such as for aviation interests, pollution monitoring and research
Sounding type meteorological balloons are used to carry larger payloads typically in the form or a radiosonde. A radiosonde includes sensors for air temperature, pressure, humidity etc. Depending on the size of the weather balloon used it will fly to a certain height with the attached radiosonde. These sensors in the radiosonde communicate with ground receiving stations that constantly receive data streams with recorded information. This information is then used by meteorologists for weather prediction.
In addition to various sensors, the radiosonde is also equipped with a GPS transmitter. As the weather balloon gains altitude it also moves in the horizontal direction due to winds. This position data of the weather balloon is constantly sent back to the ground receiving station which is then analysed and helps in providing information regarding wind speed and wind direction. Sounding type meteorological balloons are a very important tool in upper air observations.
High altitude sounding balloons also carry radar targets in the form of a corner reflector, ozonesondes etc.
In case of heavier payloads, a parachute may also attach to the weather balloons. Please check out our Meteorological Consumables page for more information on parachutes offered by us.