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Verner E. Suomi and Robert J. Parent
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Verner E. Suomi, Kirby J. Hanson, and Robert J. Parent


This paper reports on a digital measurement (“chirp”) system which has application for a wide range of meteorological and earth satellite measurements.

The system employs a simple concept in which a voltage pulse, proportional to a sensor voltage, is used to generate a burst of pulses from a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO). A count of the high frequency oscillations which make up the “chirp” provides the digital measurement. The system is adapted to multiple sensor use with a multiplexer.

The system has the advantage in that one has the option of selecting an ac amplifier for low level signals in conjunction with a variety of multiplexers and VCO for the desired measurement. One particular combination of multiplexer and VCO was used to demonstrate its use as a digital radiosonde.

A flight test of the digital radiosonde was obtained. Results clearly show fine structural detail in the temperature profile without any need for subjective interpretation by the operator. Numerous isothermal and inversion layers less than 100 m in thickness were observed.

The digital radiosonde used conventional (U.S. Weather Bureau) temperature and humidity sensors. Temperature resolution is about 0.1C and relative humidity is about 0.1 per cent. The system resolution is 0.1 per cent.

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Jerome M. Schmidt, Piotr J. Flatau, Paul R. Harasti, Robert. D. Yates, David J. Delene, Nicholas J. Gapp, William J. Kohri, Jerome R. Vetter, Jason E. Nachamkin, Mark G. Parent, Joshua D. Hoover, Mark J. Anderson, Seth Green, and James E. Bennett


Descriptions of the experimental design and research highlights obtained from a series of four multiagency field projects held near Cape Canaveral, Florida, are presented. The experiments featured a 3 MW, dual-polarization, C-band Doppler radar that serves in a dual capacity as both a precipitation and cloud radar. This duality stems from a combination of the radar’s high sensitivity and extremely small-resolution volumes produced by the narrow 0.22° beamwidth and the 0.543 m along-range resolution. Experimental highlights focus on the radar’s real-time aircraft tracking capability as well as the finescale reflectivity and eddy structure of a thin nonprecipitating stratus layer. Examples of precipitating storm systems focus on the analysis of the distinctive and nearly linear radar reflectivity signatures (referred to as “streaks”) that are caused as individual hydrometeors traverse the narrow radar beam. Each streak leaves a unique radar reflectivity signature that is analyzed with regard to estimating the underlying particle properties such as size, fall speed, and oscillation characteristics. The observed along-streak reflectivity oscillations are complex and discussed in terms of diameter-dependent drop dynamics (oscillation frequency and viscous damping time scales) as well as radar-dependent factors governing the near-field Fresnel radiation pattern and inferred drop–drop interference.

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