Dr. Ray L. Winstead
IUP Professor of Biology

Aerial Insects Balloon Project:
Project Budget



Cost Each


Total Grant Request

10-foot Helium Ball Balloon plus rope tether1

$384.00 (1)
(plus $12 shipping)

Third Dimension Advertising,
Irvine, CA


Helium 2

$31.05 per tank of helium (18)

Valley National Gases
Indiana, PA


Helium Tank Regulator3

$28.00 (1)

Valley National Gases
Indiana, PA


Acrylic panes4

$29.97 (1)

Indiana, PA


Stainless Steel Quick Links5

$3.96 (12)

Indiana, PA


Plastolite Plastic Cleaner for Acrylic plastics

$4.94 (2)

Indiana, PA


“Tangle-Trap Insect Trap Coating”

$27.40 (2)

Great Lakes IPM
Vestaburg, MI


Histoclear Solvent6

$33.00 (3)

Great Lakes IPM
Vestaburg, MI


Shipping for Great Lakes IPM

$15.00 (1)

Great Lakes IPM
Vestaburg, MI


Ethyl Alcohol 7

$103.45 (1)

NSM chemical stockroom as arranged with Mike Robertson


Specimen jars 8

$8.15 (9)

$11.15 (8)

Carolina Biological Supply
Burlington, NC


Shipping containers


Discarded Weyandt boxes


Mailing of specimens


US Postal Service


Heavy Duty Tarp 9

$57.00 (1)

Indiana, PA


21 Piece Bungee Pack 10

$9.96 (1)

Indiana, PA


Winch Supplies 11


Built by NSM science shop with NSM and/or personal funds







1 includes 200’ tether rope, harness, repair kit, inflation hose and brass fitting for helium tank.

2 one helium tank has 219CF of helium and the balloon requires about 532CF of helium.  Therefore the initial filling of the balloon will require about 2.4 tanks.  According to the balloon company “topping off” of 25% is necessary every 3 days.  Therefore, collecting data for three days during a week, then collecting data again a week later will require a topping off of about 50% at the beginning of the week.  This means that for twelve weeks after the first week about 266CF x 12 weeks or 3,192CF, i.e., about 15 tanks of helium for $465.75 for those twelve weeks.  A total of 18 tanks of helium is $558.90.

3 necessary valve for helium tank.

4 18 panes can be cut from one sheet of Acrylic.  Cutting to size is free at Lowe’s.

5 These are used to attach the panes to the balloon tether rope.

6 Histoclear is used to remove the insects from the panes and to further wash the insects.

7 Ethyl Alcohol will be used to preserve the insect specimens for later identification.

8 The insects will be preserved in alcohol in these specimen jars and sent/delivered to The Carnegie Museum of Natural History for identification to Order.

9 This is used to cover the balloon at night and in bad weather to help protect it for longer use.

10 tie-downs for tarp to cover balloon at night and in bad weather.

11 a winch constructed by the NSM Machine Shop would be used in raising and lowering the balloon.  The winch would be based on simply having a cylindrical drum on which to wind up the tether rope.


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