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The Error in Rawin Computations Due to Neglecting the Earth's Curvature

Lt. Col. A. F. GustafsonUSAF, Hqs., Air Weather Service, Washington 25, D. C.

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General expressions giving the error in rawin computations arising from the neglect of the earth's curvature are derived. The error is found to be a function of the height of the balloon, the elevation angle, the wind speed, and the balloon ascent rate. The results are presented in the form of a graph which can be used by researchers to correct wind observations made without taking the earth's curvature into account. The nature of the curvature errors is such that maximum values of both wind speeds and wind shears tend to be exaggerated.

* Published with permission of Commander, Air Weather Service. Paper read at the Baltimore meeting, April 1954.

General expressions giving the error in rawin computations arising from the neglect of the earth's curvature are derived. The error is found to be a function of the height of the balloon, the elevation angle, the wind speed, and the balloon ascent rate. The results are presented in the form of a graph which can be used by researchers to correct wind observations made without taking the earth's curvature into account. The nature of the curvature errors is such that maximum values of both wind speeds and wind shears tend to be exaggerated.

* Published with permission of Commander, Air Weather Service. Paper read at the Baltimore meeting, April 1954.

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