posted on May, 3 2004 @ 09:48 PM
What follows is an interesting Paper I scored off E-Bay (along with other documents from the Woomera Space Research Facility and heaps of NASA
documents – mainly related to the Surveyor Landings).
I’m an Australian, and the Americans who printed the paper, misspell “Organisation” from CSIRO, as “Organization”!) What follows, is a reproduction
(with a couple of “maths-scripting” errors – because of my dodgy keyboard here. Note that 10(10) is actually typewritten as “10 to the power of 10”
would normally be, in the paper etc.).
The following Paper has two ink stamps on it which state;
“SPACE GROUP REPRINT LIBRARY, RPP 1013”
Here is the selected text from the Paper;
“Commonwealth of Australia
COMMONWEALTH SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ORGANIZATION
Reprinted from JOURNAL OF APPLIED METEOROLOGY, Vol. 6, No. 2, April 1967, pp. 373-379
American Meteorological Society
Printed in U.S.A.
A Stratospheric Air Tracer Experiment Using Zinc Sulfide
EARL G. DROESSLER1, K. J. HEFFERNAN AND E. K. BIGG
Radiophysics Laboratory, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia
(Manuscript received 15 August 1966, in revised form 14 October 1966)
The feasibility of using the fluorescent properties of zinc sulfide powder to study air motions in the vicinity of jet streams was studied by
releasing 230 kg of the substance above the subtropical jet in central Australia and later in Western Australia. Zinc sulfide was detected in some of
the air samples obtained at the ground in Australia and New Zealand as far as 7000 km from the source and at various altitudes over eastern
It is concluded that this tracer could be useful for studying air motions on such a large scale but that transport mechanisms involving clouds may
also be important. Very rapid downward transport was a feature of both experiments. A relationship appears to exist between ice nucleus concentrations
and the fallout pattern of the zinc sulfide.
a. The tracer material. The material used was a zinc sulfide powder, manufactured by the U.S. Radium Corporation, and designated “2210," which has
often been used in tropospheric studies of air movements or diffusion. Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation of about 3650 A wavelength, it
fluoresces powerfully in the green at wavelengths near 5200 A. It is an inert, insoluble material, stable in the presence of strong sunlight, and
because of small particle size it yields about 10(10) particles gm-1. The largest particles present, about 10u in diameter, would take a week to reach
the ground in stagnant air, while most would take many months. ...
The dispensing system is shown in Fig. 2a. It consisted of long-range drop-type fuel tanks fitted to the standard pylons under the port and starboard
wings of a B57 weather reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Air Force. Each tank was modified to contain 20 separate canisters of zinc sulfide. The
canisters were sealed by an “O” ring and a circular plexiglass lid, in which was embedded an explosive squib of the type currently used in aircraft
The whole dispensing system was under the control of the aircraft navigator and was programmed to fire alternately one port and one starboard canister
every 1½ min, thus ensuring an even distribution of about 230 kg of zinc sulfide over 60 min of flight. Fig. 2b shows the trail of powder left by the
aircraft when a canister explodes. (My note; Picture of the modified B27 system included, as well as a picture of a release in-flight!)
The picture captions state;
FIG. 2. The zinc sulfide dispensing system (a) carried by a B57 weather reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, and the trail of powder (b)
left by the aircraft during an in-flight release.
The particles were collected, both in the air and on the ground, by filtering air through a cellulose ester membrane known as the Millipore [marketed
by the Millipore Corporation, Bedford, Mass., U.S.A.] and having a nominal pore size of 1.2u. ...
In both experiments the relatively large numbers of apparently zinc sulfide particles found on a number of filters compared with the generally low
background counts suggest that the tracer was detected as much as 13 km below and 80 degrees of longitude from its starting point. The influx of
particles in the first experiment 10 to 13 days from the release may weaken this conclusion, but it could also be interpreted as downward transport of
particles which have made one circuit of the globe.
The experiments appear to demonstrate that zinc sulfide in the quantities dispersed can be satisfactorily used as a tracer even at great distances,
but suggest that other methods of tracing the air (ozone or potential temperature) would be very helpful in resolving some of the ambiguities of the
An increase by a factor of 10 in the amount released would of course greatly improve the confidence that can be placed in the results. Aircraft
collection was a valuable addition to the experiment and would be desirable in any future experiments. ...
Danielsen, E.F., 1964: Report on Project Springfield. Defense Atomic Support Agency, DASA 1517.
Reiter, E.R., and J.D. Mahlman, 1964: Heavy radioactive fallout over the Southern United States. Colorado State University Tech. Paper No. 58,