prototype metrac balloon-tracking system yields accurate, high-resolution winds in Minneapolis field test

Kenneth S. Gage Control Data Corporation, Research Division, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440

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William H. Jasperson Control Data Corporation, Research Division, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440

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The METRAC positioning system is a ground-based radio location system that makes use of the Doppler principle in order to track an inexpensive, expendable transmitter. A prototype system has recently been built and evaluated for the Environmental Protection Agency for possible use in the Regional Air Pollution Study Program. This paper presents a brief description of the METRAC system and some of the results of a field test of the prototype system conducted in Minneapolis. The field test consisted of a comparison of wind profiles derived from the METRAC system with wind profiles derived from simultaneous rawinsonde and theodolite tracking. The results of this test demonstrate the great accuracy and high-resolution of winds measured by the prototype system.

1 METRAC is the trademark used by Control Data Corporation to denote the tracking system described in the following pages.

The METRAC positioning system is a ground-based radio location system that makes use of the Doppler principle in order to track an inexpensive, expendable transmitter. A prototype system has recently been built and evaluated for the Environmental Protection Agency for possible use in the Regional Air Pollution Study Program. This paper presents a brief description of the METRAC system and some of the results of a field test of the prototype system conducted in Minneapolis. The field test consisted of a comparison of wind profiles derived from the METRAC system with wind profiles derived from simultaneous rawinsonde and theodolite tracking. The results of this test demonstrate the great accuracy and high-resolution of winds measured by the prototype system.

1 METRAC is the trademark used by Control Data Corporation to denote the tracking system described in the following pages.

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