Science: Exploring with Sound

Weather balloons, used by scientists to study the upper atmosphere, can reach up more than 21 miles. Rockets fly much higher, but they are too expensive and uncertain to send up on daily errands. Last week a group of upper-air explorers from the University of Denver started using cheaper messengers: sound waves, which soar up 30 miles or more and curve back to earth with valuable information about the air they have passed through.

The project, backed by the Air Force through its Cambridge, Mass, research laboratories, has been farmed out to the University of Denver Industrial Research Institute. Working under Colonel...

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