Upper Air Soundings

Upper air soundings are carried out routinely. They include profile measurements of pressure, temperature, relative humidity and wind vector. Vertical ozone profiles are also occasionally measured. Usually, the soundings start from the heliport (10 m above sea level) and end when the ballons burst at heights normally between 15 and 37 km.

For the soundings VAISALA radiosondes, carried by helium-filled balloons (TOTEX 350 - 1500) are used. The data is coded (BUFR, FM35-Temp) and transferred directly to the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) where they contribute to weather forecasting.

To obtain ozone profiles an opitonal ozone sensor (VAISALA, ECC5A/6A) can be attached to the radiosonde. The wind vector is determined with the aid of navigation systems (GPS, formerly Omega). Data reception and evaluation are carried out by VAISALA systems. The following radiosondes from VAISALA ave been used:

  • RS80, 1982-12-29 till 2004-10-01 (till ARK-XX/3)
  • RS90, 2004-10-15 till 2005-04-04 (ANT-XXII/1-3)
  • RS92, 2005-04-09 till today (from ANT-XXII/4)

All data are archived in PANGAEA which offers an interactive access. The access is free for any scientific nonprofit use. Upper air soundings are available since 29 December 1982. Recent soundings normally reach the database within some months after the measurements were taken. The sounding data can be retrieved in two different forms:

Additional, a kml-file offeres data excess via Google Earth for all soundings. For further information please contact Gert König-Langlo.

Lauching a radiosonde from the heliport (Photo: Alfred Wegener Institut)
Meridional-height section of temperature during ANT-XXI based on upper air soundings (Photo: Alfred Wegener Institut)