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Randolph D. Borys, Kapin Tan, and William Cotton

Until recently, investigations of the temperature structure of the planetary boundary layer have been confined to the use of balloon soundings (tethered balloon sondes, rawinsondes), disposable dropsondes, or high performance instrumented aircraft. These methods can be quite restrictive in their ability to obtain detailed temporal and spatial resolutions, especially in areas of limited accessibility. The operating cost of an instrumented aircraft also may be prohibitive. From this perspective, the use of an ultralight sounder—a meteorological sensor mounted on a motorized glider—is described, and its versatility is discussed. This system was employed in measuring the vertical temperature structure in mountainous terrain during the winter months of 1981–82. The system's capability to obtain detailed vertical temperature structure, as attested by the data gathered, renders it invaluable in the study of the planetary boundary layer in complex mountainous terrain.

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Randolph D. Borys and Melanie A. Wetzel

The Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL), operated by the Atmospheric Sciences Center of the Desert Research Institute, is now located in a newly constructed permanent building at elevation 3210 m (10 530 ft) above mean sea level in the northwestern Colorado Rocky Mountains. The laboratory provides a site for the conduct of basic and applied research in the atmospheric sciences, hands-on instruction in meteorology for students ranging from middle school through graduate school, and high-elevation atmospheric measurement programs for various scientific groups, agencies, and private companies. This article provides a background of the history of SPL, its past and current activities, and a description of the facilities and opportunities available at the laboratory.

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