Instrument : Mini Sound Detection and Ranging (SODAR)

Instrument Categories
Surface Meteorology, Atmospheric Profiling

The SODAR (Sonic Detection and Ranging) wind profiler measures wind profiles and backscattered signal strength between (nominally) 15 meters (m) and 500 m. It operates by transmitting acoustic energy into the atmosphere and measuring the strength and frequency of backscattered energy. The strength of the backscattered signal is determined by the strength of temperature inhomogeneities with size on the order of 10 centimeters (cm). Assuming the scattering elements in the atmosphere are moving with the mean wind, the horizontal wind field can be derived. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Mobile Facility (AMF) has a system developed by Scintec, Inc. that transmits a sequence of frequencies to enhance signal determination.

Output Datastreams

  • sodar : Mini Sound Detection and Ranging (SODAR)
  • sodarspec : Mini Sound Detection and Ranging (SODAR), spectral data
  • sodarwindave : ABLE: minisodar (mini - sound det. & ranging) wind profiles, 100-200 m, avg
  • sodarwindraw : ABLE: minisodar (mini - sound det. & ranging) wind profiles, 100-200 m, raw data

Primary Measurements

The following measurements are those considered scientifically relevant.


Southern Great Plains
SGPA1 Browse DataWhitewater, KS (ABLE) retired
SGPA2 Browse DataBeaumont, KS (ABLE) retired
SGPA5 Browse DataOxford, KS (ABLE) retired
ARM Mobile Facility
ASIM1 Browse DataAscension Island, South Atlantic Ocean; AMF1
MAOS1 Browse DataManacapuru, Amazonas, Brazil; MAOS
PVCS1 Browse DataHighland Center, Cape Cod MA; MAOS retired
 retired = Originating instrument has been retired at this location


Timothy Martin
Argonne National Laboratory
(630) 740-0881

Virendra Ghate
Argonne National Laboratory
(630) 252-1609

Paytsar Muradyan
Argonne National Laboratory

Richard Coulter
Argonne National Laboratory
(630) 252-5833