Credit: NASA

In this video, physicist Gary Wick from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes the dropsonde system aboard the Environmental Global Hawk, a remotely-piloted aircraft. The instrument package of a dropsonde is housed in a small tube. Instruments measure temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind. These dropsondes are released from the Global Hawk in hurricanes, in polar regions, and in other places around the world so that we can learn more about weather. The system that releases dropsondes into the atmosphere from the Global Hawk was developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.