Beginning in May 2021, the CCC group has been conducting ozonesonde launches for research and education. Through at least 2023, we plan to launch one ozonesonde per month, with 8-12 additional launches targeting troposphere and stratosphere composition change related to phenomena such as tropopause-overshooting convection, fires, pollutant emissions, etc. The impact of tropopause-overshooting convection on UTLS composition is the primary research focus of targeted launches at this point. Our ozonesonde activities are only possible because of OU foundation support, and generous guidance and training from the long-established team at the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado ( Continued ozonesonde activities beyond 2023 will be a priority for the CCC group, but will depend on the availability of external funding.

Our Process

The success of our ozonesonde launches ultimately depends on the support of many people. Dr. Homeyer and CCC group member Rachael Auth coordinate all launches and lead the procurement and preparation of all materials. All launches are open to participation from students and others following an email request to the coordinators (see People Page for contact information).

Each launch includes an iMet-4 radiosonde along with the ozonesonde instrument, which we get from EN-SCI ( You can learn all about these instruments and their wide range of uses from the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory ( We attach the instrument package to a balloon train that, when fully prepared for launch, looks like this:

Prior to launch, we typically mount the ground station (antenna + computer) on a vehicle to follow the balloon during flight while we receive data. Once the balloon bursts, we navigate toward the projected landing location and attempt to retrieve the package when a final pinpoint GPS location from the radiosonde is received. This approach has been very effective and we are often able to recondition the ozonesonde instruments for reuse. We aim to do this to both 1) reduce launch costs (which enable us to conduct more flights than otherwise possible on a fixed budget), and 2) reduce waste. Specifically, reuse of a retrieved and reconditioned ozonesonde reduces the cost of additional launches by ~45% each. Some recently retrieved packages:

Dr. Homeyer & E. Murillo: 16 June 2021 recovery
Dr. Homeyer and R. Auth: 17 June 2021 recovery
Final descent of 26 July 2021 ozonesonde payload.

Data Access

All CCC group ozonesonde launch data will be posted here free for community use following post-processing and evaluation of the data (typically within 1 week of launch). Below are links providing access to the 100-m average profile data and plots of the data with WMO lapse-rate tropopause altitudes superimposed (by year). We have launched balloons from two locations on the University of Oklahoma campus: the National Weather Center (NWC on map below) and the Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station (KAEFS on the map below).

Map of ozonesonde launch sites.