Solar Panel Inquiry: What Will Happen And Why?

Below: Solar panel and Arduino 

Note the solar panel and Arduino that will be launched on a “High Hopes” high altitude weather balloon to about 30,500 meters (100,000 feet). The solar panel will be attached to the top of a payload so it is exposed to the sun, much like the payload pictured here.  The Arduino will record how much electricity the solar panel is producing constantly throughout its flight.

What will happen to the amount of electricity the solar panel produces as it climbs through the atmosphere to 30,500 meters (100,000 feet)? What are the characteristics of Earth’s atmosphere the solar panel will be exposed to that may or may not effect the amount of electricity the solar panel generates? Explain your conclusion.

When we launch the “High Hopes” high altitude weather balloon we will include this experiment. As stated above we will record the data from the experiment and share that data with you after the flight in late April or early May 2018. So do your research about our atmosphere, discuss with your collaborators, do some heavy thinking, then write what you think will happen. You could even leave your written thoughts here as a comment if you’d like.

Next, check back here to see what really does happen.

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