Instrument : Balloon-Borne Sounding System (SONDE)

Instrument Categories
Atmospheric Profiling

General Overview

The balloon-borne sounding system (SONDE) provides in situ measurements (vertical profiles) of both the thermodynamic state of the atmosphere, and the wind speed and direction. During some field campaigns, sonde operations from multiple stations around a central location with baseline measurements, like a mobile facility, can provide important constraints for model simulations. At the ARM sites, sondes are launched at the following intervals:

  • ENA Graciosa Island, Azores: 2 times per day
  • NSA Barrow, Alaska: 2 times per day
  • SGP: 2 times per day
  • TWP Manus, PNG: 2 times per day
  • ARM Mobile Facilities: Each campaign sets the frequency; usually 4 times per day and as many as 8 per day.

Output Value-Added Products

This instrument is an input to the following value-added products, which provide improved measurements or derived quantities.

  • lssonde : BBSS: derived, relative humidity scaled with MWR

Output Datastreams

  • sonde : Balloon-borne Sounding System (BBSS): meterological data profile
  • sondewnpn : Balloon-borne sounding system (BBSS): Vaisala-processed winds, press., temp, &RH
  • sondewnpr : Balloon-borne sounding system (BBSS): Vaisala winds, research press., temp, &RH
  • sondewrpn : Balloon-borne sounding system (BBSS): research winds, Vaisala press., temp, &RH
  • sondewrpr : Balloon-borne sounding system (BBSS): research-mode winds, presssure, temp, &RH

Primary Measurements

The following measurements are those considered scientifically relevant.


Eastern North Atlantic
ENAC1Browse DataGraciosa Island, Azores, Portugal
North Slope Alaska
NSAC1Browse DataCentral Facility, Barrow AK
Southern Great Plains
SGPB1Browse DataHillsboro, KS (Boundary)
SGPB4Browse DataVici, OK (Boundary)
SGPB5Browse DataMorris, OK (Boundary)
SGPB6Browse DataPurcell, OK
SGPC1Browse DataCentral Facility, Lamont, OK
SGPE14Browse DataLamont, OK (Extended, secondary)
Tropical Western Pacific
TWPC1Browse DataCentral Facility, Manus I., PNG
TWPC2Browse DataCentral Facility, Nauru Island
TWPC3Browse DataCentral Facility, Darwin, Australia
TWPX1Browse DataExternal Data (satellites and others)
ARM Mobile Facility
FKBM1Browse DataBlack Forest, Germany
GANM1Browse DataGan Airport, Gan Island, Maldives
GRWM1Browse DataGraciosa Island, Azores, Portugal
HFEM1Browse DataShouxian, Anhui, China
MAGM1Browse DataLos Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI - container ship Horizon Spirit
MAOM1Browse DataManacapuru, Amazonas, Brazil; AMF1
NIMM1Browse DataNiamey, Niger
OLIM1Browse DataOliktok Point, Alaska
PGHM1Browse DataARIES Observatory, Nainital, Uttarkhand, India
PVCM1Browse DataHighland Center, Cape Cod MA; AMF 1
PYEM1Browse DataPoint Reyes, CA
SBSM1Browse DataSteamboat Springs CO, Valley Site
TMPM1Browse DataU. of Helsinki Research Station (SMEAR II), Hyytiala, Finland; AMF2


Donna Holdridge
(630) 252-5148

Richard Coulter
(630) 252-5833

Jenni Kyrouac