Charles Dahlke (Chuck), 1st Missile Battalion, 39th Field Artillery, Raven Industries

Chuck Dahlke, "Launching High Altitude Balloons to the Upper Stratosphere." October 26, 2011. Video available.

Chuck Dahlke was born in 1937 in Minneapolis and grew up in Chaska, Minnesota.

During the early 1960s he served with the Army's 1st Missile Battalion, 39th Field Artillery, in Germany, maintaining the fire control system on the nuclear tipped Corporal Missile. Following his military service, Chuck went to work for Honeywell building aerospace equipment for NASA and got his "Engineering in Physics" degree from the University of Minnesota. He then went to work for Raven Industries of Sioux Falls, which made and launched High Altitude Helium Balloons for the Office of Naval Research, which he described in a presentation given on October 26, 2011.

High Altitude helium balloons fly in the Upper Stratosphere at 28 to 31 miles up and can reach 400 feet in diameter. They were originally used to take spy photographs of the Soviet Union. During the Space Age they were used for research on Cosmic Rays and were sometimes reported by pilots as UFOs, especially at dusk. Chuck showed slides from 1969-71 of High Altitude research balloons being launched at Churchill, Canada. He said that Churchill is known for its polar bears and mosquitos.