Development of upper air simulator for the calibration of solar radiation effects on radiosonde temperature sensors



Lee, S-W, Yang, I, Choi, BIL, et al.



by Meteorological Applications  (MA) at 2019-10-31



For the accurate measurement of temperature in the upper air by using radiosondes, one prerequisite is the compensation of solar radiation effects that cause sensor heating. The development at the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) of an upper air simulator (UAS) that can simulate radiation effects is reported. The UAS can independently control four environmental parameters: irradiance, temperature, pressure and air speed. An entire radiosonde can be installed in the test chamber and the measurement data transmitted remotely via an antenna. Solar irradiance is mimicked by using a solar simulator that irradiates the radiosonde sensor. The temperature of the test chamber is controlled from −70 to 20°C by placing it inside a climatic chamber. The pressure and ventilation speed in the test chamber are modulated using combinations of sonic nozzles, a mass flow controller and a vacuum pump. A ventilation speed of 5 m·s−1, which mimics the speed of ascent of the radiosondes when lifted using a balloon, is achieved at pressures as low as 7 hPa. The capability of controlling the environmental parameters independently and the stability of each parameter are presented. As a proof of concept, the radiation-induced bias on the temperature sensor of a commercial radiosonde Vaisala RS41 is measured. The effect of each parameter is investigated by varying it while keeping the other parameters fixed. Radiosonde calibration using the UAS at the KRISS will help improve the traceability of upper air measurements to the International System of Units.




Full article (PDF)