The university says it released a large balloon on Friday carrying a weather observation device called a "radiosonde" as well as radiation measurement equipment into the skies above Fukushima City.
It plans to gauge radiation levels and collect other data up to 30 kilometers above ground. Readings will be taken at intervals of 10 meters over a period of 20 days.
The university has so far been measuring radiation closer to the ground. It has checked more than 300 locations in Fukushima Prefecture.
But it deems the current method insufficient to make a correct assessment of the diffusion of radioactive materials.
The university says the balloon survey will help make predictions about how toxic particles will spread across the globe.
University vice president Akira Watanabe, who is also a member of the research team, says the findings will be disclosed to the world along with projected radiation levels.
Friday, April 15, 2011 09:57 +0900 (JST)
Giant UFO seen above Fukushima in Japan, Footage from German News YouTube