A Comparison of the Low-Level Radiosonde and the Acoustic Echo Sounder for Monitoring Atmospheric Stability

R. J. Wyckoff National Weather Service Forecast Office, NOAA, Denver, Colo. 80010

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D. W. Beran Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colo. 80302

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F. F. Hall Jr. Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colo. 80302

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Abstract

Temperature profiles measured with a radiosonde are compared with returns from an acoustic echo sounder throughout the height range 50–700 m. In general, the sounder records indicate the temperature inversion to be somewhat lower than do the radiosonde records. Reasons for this apparent discrepancy and the advantage of the sounder, in being able to monitor continuously the inversion structure and undulations produced by wind shear, are discussed. It was proved feasible to operate the acoustic sounder in a noisy commercial district with little detrimental effect on the ability to detect atmospheric temperature structure. It is concluded from this preliminary investigation that the combination of the radiosonde and the acoustic echo sounder provides a much more valuable tool for monitoring structure in the stable planetary boundary layer than either device used alone.

Abstract

Temperature profiles measured with a radiosonde are compared with returns from an acoustic echo sounder throughout the height range 50–700 m. In general, the sounder records indicate the temperature inversion to be somewhat lower than do the radiosonde records. Reasons for this apparent discrepancy and the advantage of the sounder, in being able to monitor continuously the inversion structure and undulations produced by wind shear, are discussed. It was proved feasible to operate the acoustic sounder in a noisy commercial district with little detrimental effect on the ability to detect atmospheric temperature structure. It is concluded from this preliminary investigation that the combination of the radiosonde and the acoustic echo sounder provides a much more valuable tool for monitoring structure in the stable planetary boundary layer than either device used alone.

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