Sept. 19, 2005
Students to storm the stadium for Katrina
DATE: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sept. 24, 2005.
EVENT: Select University of Michigan engineering students have been invited to take over the field in the Big House to help the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences (AOSS) measure the wind flow and temperature inside the stadium. This event is for students only, it is not open to the public. Members of the media are encouraged to attend.
Perry Samson, who teaches the popular extreme weather course, organized the event. His students will measure temperature, wind flow and dispersion inside the stadium. These data will be offered to the U-M football coaching staff, ABC-TV, ESPN and other media to use for the season and will be used for class activities in AOSS during the semester. Wind currents and temperature can affect, for example, the ball path during a field goal kick. Knowing the wind plumes inside the stadium will also help plan for disasters, Samson said.
Activities planned include:
• Human dispersion experiments. Several waves of students are given one neutral buoyancy balloon, which upon release floats side to side. Students will follow the balloon across the field for a short period of time, and then stop so AOSS students may record their location. These experiments show how a wind plume disperses. Students will use butterfly nets to snatch the balloons before they float out of the stadium
• Wind direction experiments: The department purchased bubble bottles and students will sit at proscribed seats and blow their bubbles at a prescribed time. AOSS students will film the bubble flow to visualize details of wind movement.
• In another experiment, students will be provided with helium balloons on twenty foot string, and assigned to a spot on the field or in the stands. A two-foot yellow tail flying from the balloon will indicate wind direction. The balloons will be held by students and the motion of the tails filmed from the same locations as the television crews filming a football game.
• Temperature experiments: AOSS purchased thermometers and infrared sensors, which students will use to record the temperature throughout the stadium at prescribe times.
Meanwhile a massive balloon measuring 15 feet long by 6 feet across will be tethered at the 50-yard line. The balloon collects data such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction, pressure and humidity.
PLACE: Michigan Stadium, North Gate 9, Main Street and Stadium, Ann Arbor
SPONSORS: AOSS, University of Michigan College of Engineering.
CONTACT: Interested media should contact Mary Nehls-Frumkin, (734) 763-7305 or email@example.com
News Service Contact: Laura Bailey