Atmospheric Probes and Experiments

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I) Atmospheric Probes and Experiments

A) Weather Balloons

1) Most common type of atmospheric probes

2) Carry lightweight scientific equipment that measure temperature, humidity, pressure and altitude

3) Radiosondes

(a) Balloons that transmit data by radio waves

4) Rawinsondes

(a) Balloons that are tracked by radar

Weather Balloon

Many atmospheric probes are placed on spacecraft and sent into outer space to send back information on the atmospheric conditions of other planets including Venus and Mars.  On Earth, many experiments are carried out on planes that have been fitted with various instruments to measure different atmospheric conditions and climatic changes.
The ARAT experiment was carried out in France using the French atmospheric research aircraft (F-27/ARAT). The objectives of this experiment were to perform microphysical and optical measurements in cumuliform/stratiform clouds in order to sample different kinds of cloud particles (water droplets, drizzle, ice crystals, mixed-phase particles, ...).


The AEROCONTRAIL project was aimed at a better understanding of the effect of aircraft exhaust on contrail and aerosol formation and of their impact on the climate. This project included the combination of ground-based observations, aircraft in situ observations (DLR-Falcon aircraft) and numerical modeling.


The CIRRUS experiment was devoted to obtaining microphysical and optical properties of cirrus clouds with radiation measurements.  These measurements were obtained with the airborne Infrared Cryogenic Spectrometer (SICAP) designed and developed by ONERA.


Intensive aircraft field observations of clouds and radiation was carried out by the Meteorological Research Institute (MRI, Tsukuba) within the Japanese Cloud and Climate Study (JACCS) program.  The experimental strategy was designed to simultaneously document the radiative and microphysical properties of winter-time boundary-layer clouds, including mixed-phase situations, by synchronized formation flights with two aircraft.

Cessna 404 Titan

Odin is a small, low cost satellite that uses sub-mm techniques to perform both atmospherical and astronomical studies.  The main scientific goal of the Odin project is to explore the middle and upper atmosphere and interstellar medium using new areas of the spectrum. The instruments used are a radiometer called SMR (Sub Millimeter Receiver) and an optical instrument called OSIRIS (Optical Spectrometer and InfraRed Imaging System).

Odin Satellite

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