Funding will Support First Balloon Launch in 2006

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced engineering services and products company, today announced that it had received a $1 million, follow-on contract from the University of New Hampshire as part of a larger grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue development of an instrument that will improve weather forecasting and hurricane landfall prediction. This follow-on contract provides funding to launch MAC’s Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) atmospheric wind measurement instrument on a high-altitude Air Force balloon platform, providing wind measurements from 100,000 feet down to the ground. The technology is being developed for eventual implementation on a satellite, aircraft or other high-altitude platform and has both civilian and defense applications. The LIDAR system is based upon MAC’s unique technology for making wind measurements in clear air, with or without the presence of aerosols. Ground-based systems are currently in operation in New Hampshire and Hawaii and airborne systems are in development. Four flights of the instrument are planned, starting in May 2006. Michael Dehring, LIDAR Business Unit Manager, said “The technology is rapidly maturing and we are now developing versions of the instrument for near-term satellite, airborne and ground applications.”