The U. S. Army Electronic Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Arizona has tested a new type of theodolite using pulsed light for ranging and tracking of meteorological balloons. The pulsed-light theodolite (PLT) electronically computes the slant range to an airborne free balloon. The time required for a pulse of light to go to the balloon and back determines the range. By using the slant range and azimuth and elevation angles, the equipment computes the elevation, wind speed and wind direction and automatically prints the data on paper tape. The tests indicate that the PLT system is an accurate and fast method of measuring low-level winds. It could provide wind data without delay to such activities as rocket launchings.

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