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Meteorology for Pilots, 4th Edition by Mike Wickson

Meteorology for Pilots, 4th Edition by Mike Wickson

Author:Mike Wickson
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781847979612
Publisher: The Crowood Press


Radiosonde

The radiosonde is used to provide upper air information. This is used to produce constant pressure charts. It in fact produces data on a 12-hour interval basis of pressure temperature and humidity. The radiosonde comprises a small radio transmitter suspended from a hydrogen balloon which emits a carrier wave. The carrier is modulated by introducing in turn, three sensing elements into the carrier wave circuit. After release from the ground the sensors continuously measure pressure, temperature and humidity. The balloon takes the device up to some 150,000 ft (46 km) transmitting the whole time. Around this level the balloon bursts and the radiosonde then breaks up as it falls into denser air.

Transmissions are received at a ground station and decoded into normal values. The sites from which 12-hour releases are made include ships and ground stations. In the UK there are nine ground sites, whereas in a large country such as the USA there are hundreds of sites.

During operation the radiosondes are tracked by radar enabling upper winds to be measured and height to be monitored. These devices are not a danger to aircraft but sometimes they can be seen ascending within sight of an aircraft. A drawing of a radiosonde is at Figure 15.3.



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