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Answer: Weather balloon launches and observations

Source: The turrets were used to launch weather balloons to measure how low the cloud “ceiling” was. Today the turrets serve as storage and restroom facilities.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/answer-man-launches-investigation-of-old-balloon-launching-site-at-national-airport/2012/06/30/gJQA9js3DW_print.html

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