Sounding Group

The Sounding Group operates the Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System aka Dropsonde system and works on special instruments such as the Driftsonde System. AVAPS has dramatically extended the envelope of atmospheric profiling capabilities. Since its debut in 1997, it has flown on numerous missions in support of operational weather forecasting and atmospheric research, with impressive results.

AVAPS is most often requested for targeted soundings for high impact weather such as hurricanes, but has also been used for other small scale phenomenon.

Requestable Facilities 

Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System

A targeting aircraft based sounding system also known as AVAPS or Dropsonde. AVAPS is a key atmospheric instrument that measures vertical profiles of ambient temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and wind direction. Measurements are taken by a parachuted GPS sonde that is launched from the aircraft and descend to the surface. In-situ data collected from the sonde’s sensors are transmitted back in real time to an onboard aircraft data system via radio link. AVAPS is most often requested for hurricane and severe storm related projects, but has also been used for other small scale phenomenon and any project requiring flexible targeted observations.

» Read more about the AVAPS Dropsonde System


Previous Systems (Currently not requestable as part of the NSF/EOL LAOF)

 The Driftsonde system is a unique, balloon-borne scientific instrument which releases dropsondes to provide high resolution in-situ profiles of atmospheric temperature, humidity, pressure, and winds from the lower stratosphere down to the surface. It is ideal for applications over oceans and remote Polar and continental regions, filling critical gaps in data coverage where the release of surface-based radiosondes is not possible. It is a balloon borne dropsonde system capable of  world-wide flight duration up to a 100 days. The system is comprised of a ground control website located in Boulder; long duration high altitude balloon with a Driftsonde gondola and an appropriate launch site.
» Read more about the Driftsonde