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Compatibility of Meteorological Rocketsonde Data as Indicated by International Comparison Tests

Frederick G. FingerNational Meteorological Center, NOAA, Washington, D. C. 20233

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Melvyn E. GelmanNational Meteorological Center, NOAA, Washington, D. C. 20233

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Francis J. SchmidlinNational Weather Service, NOAA, Wallops Island, Va. 23337

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Robert LevitonAir Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, Bedford, Mass. 01730

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Bruce W. KennedyU.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, N. M. 88001

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Abstract

Under the auspices of the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation of the World Meteorological Organization, meteorological rocketsonde intercomparisons took place at Wallops Island in March 1972 and at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana, in September 1973. France, Japan and the United States participated in the Wallops tests, and France, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States participated in the Guiana tests. Measurements were made during the day as well as at night.

Comparisons ire presented of temperature and wind data obtained by the different rocketsonde systems over the. altitude region from 25 to 80 km. Results indicate generally good compatibility among temperatures obtained below approximately 50 km. Above that level, biases increasing with height are evident. Temperature adjustments are derived, which, when applied to operational rocketsonde data, would in the mean achieve compatibility for synoptic analyses and other uses. Comparisons among wind observations indicate generally good agreement below approximately 60 km. However, some significant problem areas are pointed out and discussed.

The Guiana series of observations also provided valuable information on the diurnal temperature change at stratospheric and mesospheric levels. An evaluation of this aspect is presented, and results are compared with those predicted by tidal theory.

Abstract

Under the auspices of the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation of the World Meteorological Organization, meteorological rocketsonde intercomparisons took place at Wallops Island in March 1972 and at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana, in September 1973. France, Japan and the United States participated in the Wallops tests, and France, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States participated in the Guiana tests. Measurements were made during the day as well as at night.

Comparisons ire presented of temperature and wind data obtained by the different rocketsonde systems over the. altitude region from 25 to 80 km. Results indicate generally good compatibility among temperatures obtained below approximately 50 km. Above that level, biases increasing with height are evident. Temperature adjustments are derived, which, when applied to operational rocketsonde data, would in the mean achieve compatibility for synoptic analyses and other uses. Comparisons among wind observations indicate generally good agreement below approximately 60 km. However, some significant problem areas are pointed out and discussed.

The Guiana series of observations also provided valuable information on the diurnal temperature change at stratospheric and mesospheric levels. An evaluation of this aspect is presented, and results are compared with those predicted by tidal theory.

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