Boom!: The Coolest Thing I’ve Seen in Quite Some Time

I hd intended to write about something else today but looking through some old Public Affairs files I came across the coolest thing I’ve seen in quite some time.  The first image in the packet was this intriguingly rigged up vehicle:

Mobile recording lab exterior

Hmmm . . . that certainly looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? But what is it for? A bit more digging turned up an interior shot of the truck along with—a miracle–an explanatory caption:

Mobile recording lab nd

Wow! It’s an early, less insane version of Storm Chasers. The project belonged to Arthur Few, who started studying thunder as a grad student in the Space Science department, working with my old friend, Alex Dessler. Here’s young Dr. Few explaining the benefits of his research, I would guess for some sort of article (although if there was one I couldn’t find it):

Mobile recording lab research

Oddly enough, given all those nice captions, the only way I could come up with an approximate date for the photos was from a Houston Post piece about the project, which kind of gives you the gist of what he was up to:

Mobile recording lab Post March 23 1969


If you want to know more, just ask. There’s lots more–this folder was full of dry, technical matter that I could not understand. There was even a picture of what I imagine was how the machine read thunder:

Mobile recording lab thunder





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3 Responses to Boom!: The Coolest Thing I’ve Seen in Quite Some Time

  1. Buddy Chuoke says:

    Anyone know what became of Dr. Few?

  2. His wife, Joan, is an archaeologist who has done a lot of work at the Lake Jackson Plantation site. His daughter Alice was in the MOB with me. And in those days, Chevy and GMC Suburbans had only two doors, not four like they do now. That’s all I know.

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