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2003-12 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2003

NCAR Research Balloonist Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Contact:

David Hosansky
UCAR Communications
Telephone: (303) 497-8611
E-mail: hosansky@ucar.edu

BOULDER--Vincent Lally, a leader in the development and application of superpressure balloons for atmospheric measurements, will receive the Otto C. Winzen Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The AIAA will present Lally with an award at a ceremony on March 26 at NCAR.

The AIAA presents the award every two years to individuals who advance balloon capabilities for scientific, military, and commercial causes. Lally will be acknowledged for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of free-flight balloon systems and related technologies, particularly in the areas of design concepts, technical insight, and managerial leadership.

Lally, a retiree of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), holds degrees in meteorology, electronic engineering, and engineering administration from the University of Chicago and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He first became involved with balloons as an Army Air Corps meteorologist and radar officer during World War II in Saipan, where he tracked radiosonde balloons to measure winds over the Pacific Ocean. He came to NCAR in 1961 at the invitation of the center's first director, Walter Orr Roberts, to establish a National Scientific Balloon Flight Facility. The first launch facility, located in Palestine, Texas, is still in business, although it is now operated by NASA.

Lally worked at NCAR as a manager and senior scientist until his retirement in 1991. He was involved in a program to develop long- duration superpressure balloons to make atmospheric measurements over the Southern Hemisphere. He helped launch the first balloon to circumnavigate the world in 1965, while simultaneously developing instruments to measure and transmit atmospheric data back to scientists on the ground.

Some of his other projects over the years included balloon-borne instruments for sampling the atmosphere, systems that use an inverted balloon to act as a ballast for a superpressure balloon, a shipboard launching system, a sounding system for wind data research, and coatings to shed water off the outside surface of balloons. He also promoted the use of Global Positioning System technology for superpressure balloons. Since his retirement, he has continued to provide NCAR with technical advice.

In 1990, the American Meteorological Society honored Lally with the Cleveland Abbe Award for distinguished service to the atmospheric sciences by an individual.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under primary sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Vin Lallyframed by two superpressure balloons used in the GHOST project in the late 1960s.


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The National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR Office of Programs are operated by UCAR under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and other agencies. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any of UCAR's sponsors. UCAR is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

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