92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Sunday, 22 January 2012
A Tethered Radiosonde Capability for Undergraduate Student Research
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Michael A. Herrera, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and S. N. Stevenson and D. T. Conlee

During the summer of 2011, the Student Operational ADRAD Project (SOAP), an undergraduate research course offered by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University, developed a portable tethered radiosonde system to be used for investigation of the surface boundary layer in high time and spatial resolution. After obtaining a thirteen foot blimp primarily used for camera lift, the student group developed the winch, line, and payload rigging, overcoming obstacles such as high wind handling and limited lift capability. Once the prototype was built, test flights were conducted to determine operating procedures and identify possible error in the system. After the system was completed and documented, it was sent to Costa Rica with the Texas A&M Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program to study the relationship of atmospheric variables in the boundary layer of a cloud forest. A second system was constructed for continued use by the SOAP class, and was further tested in two Intensive Operating Periods. The poster will detail the development of the system, the operational issues encountered, and the potential for further utilization.

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