Wednesday, 16 January 2002: 1:30 PM
Innovative Procedures for the Performance Auditing of Radar Wind and RASS Profilers
With the increased use of radar wind profiler and Radio Acoustic Sounding Systems (RASS) for measurement of upper air wind and temperature profiles comes a need for practical methods to verify the proper operation of the systems. Whether for air pollution studies or general meteorological observation programs, any type of measurement program must include operational practices that verify the overall data collection and processing systems. This will assure the collected data is useable for the intended purpose. This verification is usually in the form of system and performance audits. The system audit evaluates the overall setup and operational procedures of the data collection and processing system while the performance audit addresses the ability of the instrument to collect valid data. The performance audit methods include the use of an independent observational system to collect data and compare measurements to the on-site profiling system. The goal of these comparisons is to establish confidence that the measurements being made by the site hardware properly represent the atmosphere it is sampling. This paper addresses innovative methods to cost-effectively collect the needed data to perform these comparisons. The presented technologies are variations on kite and balloon sounding methods that have been used for years to make measurements. They incorporate a variety of new and existing sensors adapted to measure the vertical profile of winds, humidity and temperature. The sonde methods use data logging temperature and relative humidity measurement systems, modified pressure sensors, and GPS receivers suspended from the balloon and kite systems. The key to making effective use of these new methods for auditing is in the understanding of the method limits, and properly applying the technology to the intended data needs. The application and results of the audit methods and an assessment of the value of such methods in past and on-going measurement programs is discussed.