One would hope that at least attempting to design such an experiment would force them to consider the actual facts and figures involved, and they might see the light.
Why not go over and give them some advice?
I'm guessing this remote chemical sensor is some kind of spectrograph? Absorption spectrography would be the way to go, imo. Why not just use a cheap telescope and a good spectrometer? Simply point the scope with spectrometer at clear skies to get a baseline absorption spectrum for a clear atmosphere, then focus the scope on the trail only to read it's absorption spectrum then compare. Here's "A Comparative Review of some Commercial Spectrographs".
Doesn't seem like such a good idea to launch large balloons carrying instrument packages into commercial air traffic corridors anyway, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Just sayin'.
Yeah, sorry, I'm trying to install some go-faster software, but it must have been going too fast or something. I ended up locking myself out for a while.
The unusual presence of the element barium in the atmosphere now appears to have been affirmed through the methods of spectroscopy.
One visual light prism spectroscope and one visual light diffraction-grating spectrometer are being used within the study, and the results from each are cross-checked with each other.
It (barium) may be found as a natural component of fossil fuel and is present in air, water, and soil.
No worries. I worked in the IT world for over six years, I feel your pain.
I did a little searching for info on using spectroscopy to analyze the atmosphere and found that Carnicom was talking about it back in 2000.
Is he unaware or just lying about the presence of barium in the atmosphere? Along with natural vectors, burning coal and petroleum fuels releases barium into the atmosphere, as well as strontium among other things. Did he ever complete that "study" and if so, what were the results? A certain amount of barium in the air is natural and expected.