10.5 Use of a New Generation of Dropsondes during the 2008 Arctic Mechanisms of Interaction Between the Surface and Atmosphere (AMISA) Campaign

Tuesday, 19 May 2009: 4:30 PM
Capitol Ballroom AB (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Albin Gasiewski, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and A. Chaturvedi, E. McIntyre, D. M. Kraft, O. Persson, M. Tjernstrom, M. Beaubien, and W. Jeffries

Processes affecting the radiation balance between Arctic surface ice and clouds within the Arctic inversion layer are of great importance at the critical summer season melt and freezeup stages. Accordingly, observations of key thermodynamic and radiation variables below the inversion layer was a key goal of the Arctic Mechanisms of Interaction between the Surface and Atmosphere (AMISA) project conducted during August-September 2008. AMISA is an IPY project supported by NASA using the NASA DC-8 aircraft as a platform, and conducted in close cooperation with the ASCOS IPY project using the R/V Oden. Among the various in-situ and remote sensing measurements used during AMISA were a new generation of lightweight, low-cost dropsondes based on the Yankee Environmental Systems (YES, Inc.) XDR-928 sonde and telemetry board. The AMISA XDR-928 dropsondes as released from the DC-8 provided pressure, relative humidity, temperature and GPS-based wind measurements while descending from release heights of ~8 km to the surface with an average velocity of ~15 m/s.

This paper will present aspects of the development and use of the XDR- 928, focusing on the data obtained during six flights from the AMISA campaign. A post processing algorithm to correct temperature data by deconvolving the sonde impulse response will be presented, along with a technique to estimate the temperature and humidity sensor time constants. Comparisons between the XDR-928 data and coincident upsondes launched from the Oden will be presented. The temporally and spatially separated atmospheric profiles are used to study inversion layer characteristics and facilitate characterization of Arctic atmospheric fronts and their effect on the surface energy budget of the Arctic ice cover.

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