sodar: Mini Sound Detection and Ranging

The SODAR (Sonic Detection and Ranging) wind profiler measures wind profiles and backscattered signal strength between (nominally) 15 meters (m) and 500 m.

It transmits acoustic energy into the atmosphere in multiple directions and measures 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 ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) has a system developed by Scintec, Inc. that transmits a sequence of frequencies to enhance signal determination.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Related Publications


Voyles JW. 2007. ACRF Instrumentation Status: New, Current, and Future September – October 2007. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM/P-07-002.8.


Fast JD, JC Doran, WJ Shaw, RL Coulter, and TJ Martin. 2000. "The evolution of the boundary layer and its effect on air chemistry in the Phoenix area." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 105(D18), 10.1029/2000jd900289.

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