Testing a low-cost radiosonde system for possible use in adaptive sounding networks

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Michael W. Douglas, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. F. Mejia

Recently the National Severe Storms Laboratory obtained a low-cost (~$10K) Intermet 3050 radiosonde system for testing as a possible supplement to existing laboratory systems. The purpose of this testing has been to evaluate the quality of the data from the Intermet radiosondes by compariong these data with data from other radiosondes. Also, we are evaluating the signal strength from the Internet's omni-directional antenna, the system's portability, and different aspects of the software. To date, testing has involved same-balloon ascent comparisons between both NSSL's Vaisala RS-92 radiosondes and National Weather Service Sippican Mark 2 radiosondes. This presentation will describe the procedures used to carry out the comparisons between the different radiosonde sensors and the results. Every one of the nine same-balloon train launches at the Albuquerque NWS radiosonde site in July-August 2009 showed a systematic offset between the humidity values from the Sippican and Intermet sondes, with the Sippican sondes showing lower relative humidities of 5-10% in the lower- through mid- troposphere. However, the differences varied with height. Fewer comparisons have been made between the Vaisala and Intermet sondes to date, but results from this comparison are expected well prior to the AMS Meeting.