S189 Testing Advancements in InterMet Radiosonde Communications and Performance

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Lance Belobrajdic, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and J. E. Marble, K. Tucker, L. Blind-Doskocil, R. Eldridge, E. Sherman, and D. T. Conlee

Texas A&M extensively uses InterMet radiosondes and receiving equipment in teaching, research, and support for NWS on-demand launches in the upper-air-sparse region of southeast Texas. Both the legacy iMet-1 radiosonde and the new iMet-4 radiosonde now utilize a narrow-band 6 kHz FM transmission mode, which is especially useful in research environments with multiple simultaneous nearby launches. However, the 3150 Ultra-portable receiving system has shown difficulty in long-range reception of narrow-band sondes. Receiver, antenna, and pre-amplifier alternatives for range performance with narrow-band sondes are evaluated, including replacement conventional and software-defined radios. Another advancement is the addition of a reflective hydrophobic coating on iMet-4 sondes, designed to reduce the ‘wet-bulbing’ effect common in cases of the sonde exiting a cloud into a very dry region. Both the impact of the new coating and the range performance of the iMet-4 in comparison to iMet-1 radiosondes are tested. A final advancement has been the release of a new receiving system, the 3050A. Having recently acquired this new system, we give our early impressions and test results in comparison to both the 3150 and original 3050 systems.
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