A 10-foot, spherical NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) smart balloon is launched from Long Island, New York, on August 3, 2004. The balloon carried a one-of-a-kind, miniaturized ozone detector built by the University of New Hampshire, and ended its atmospheric research mission after a 12-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Contrary to most weather balloons, smart balloons have the transponder packaged inside the balloon shell rather than tethered under the balloon. This protects the transponder from rain impact damage. The smart balloon is tough enough to be launched into hurricanes.
[Image found on www.unh.edu.]