This Laser-Firing Truck Could Help Make Hot Cities More Livable

When you go on a road trip, you pack snacks and drinks and make sure you have good music to queue. Climate scientist Katia Lamer, on the other hand, packs party balloons loaded with atmospheric sensors, then climbs into a laser-firing observatory on wheels.

Lamer—director of operations at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Center for Multiscale Applied Sensing—recently completed a 1,700-mile road trip from Upton, New York, to Houston, Texas, in a specially designed science truck while taking a bevy of measurements, from air temperature to humidity to wind. The big plan: better understanding the complex climate dynamics of cities, where conditions can vary wildly not only from neighborhood to neighborhood,

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