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
  • sondewndcalc : Balloon-borne sounding system (BBSS): recalc. winds with ground check

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
ENAC1 Browse Data Browse PlotsGraciosa Island, Azores, Portugal
North Slope Alaska
NSAC1 Browse Data Browse PlotsCentral Facility, Barrow AK
Southern Great Plains
SGPB1 Browse DataHillsboro, KS (Boundary)
SGPB4 Browse DataVici, OK (Boundary)
SGPB5 Browse DataMorris, OK (Boundary)
SGPB6 Browse DataPurcell, OK
SGPC1 Browse Data Browse PlotsCentral Facility, Lamont, OK
SGPE14 Browse DataLamont, OK (Extended, secondary)
Tropical Western Pacific
TWPC1 Browse Data Browse PlotsCentral Facility, Manus I., PNG
TWPC2 Browse Data Browse PlotsCentral Facility, Nauru Island
TWPC3 Browse Data Browse PlotsCentral Facility, Darwin, Australia
TWPX1 Browse DataExternal Data (satellites and others)
ARM Mobile Facility
FKBM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsBlack Forest, Germany
GANM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsGan Airport, Gan Island, Maldives
GRWM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsGraciosa Island, Azores, Portugal
HFEM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsShouxian, Anhui, China
MAGM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsLos Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI - container ship Horizon Spirit; AMF2
MAOM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsManacapuru, Amazonas, Brazil; AMF1
NIMM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsNiamey, Niger
OLIM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsOliktok Point, Alaska
PGHM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsARIES Observatory, Nainital, Uttarkhand, India
PVCM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsHighland Center, Cape Cod MA; AMF 1
PYEM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsPoint Reyes, CA
SBSM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsSteamboat Springs CO, Valley Site
TMPM1 Browse Data Browse PlotsU. of Helsinki Research Station (SMEAR II), Hyytiala, Finland; AMF2


Donna Holdridge
Argonne National Laboratory
(630) 252-5148

Richard Coulter
Argonne National Laboratory
(630) 252-5833

Jenni Kyrouac
Argonne National Laboratory