Development Systems

ISF is driven to develop new capabilities that will meet future observing needs. For information on the current status of these developments, please inquire with the appropriate points of contact provided below.


The Driftsonde is a platform for deploying miniature dropsondes over oceans and remote arctic and continental regions where in-situ measurements from traditional sounding systems is either cost prohibitive or logistically  impossible. Dropsondes from the Driftsonde can be deployed from as high as the lower stratosphere during missions lasting from days to months. During a recent experiment named Concordiasi Driftsondes provided more than 650 dropsonde profiles over Antarctica. These are unique data that could not be obtained by any other means.
Contact: Terry Hock

Modular Profiling Network (MPN)

The centerpiece of MPN is a network of uniquely configurable 449 MHz wind profiling radars, and great progress has been made in this area area of development. MPN will be an advanced ground-based profiling network to better meet the diverse measurement needs of the atmospheric community. The aims of the system are flexibility, good altitude coverage, fast measurements, and easy deployment. A final system is envisioned to integrate networks of mini Doppler lidars and surface boundary condition observations with the radar wind profilers.
Contact: Bill Brown

CentNet (also referred to as the Adaptive Sensor Array (ASA))

CentNet will apply new technologies such as wireless sensor networking to greatly expand the size of our deployable surface measurement network. We envision a surface network of 100 self-contained stations to support field studies on many geophysical topics. Each Centnet station would provide research-quality direct measurements of all components of the surface energy budget, with other sensors added to support specific research topics.
Contact: Steve Oncley

Reference Radiosonde

This development has been motivated by multiple needs of the scientifitic community to have high quality in-situ reference radiosonde sensors with known accuracy and uncertainty. Our work in this area has focused heavily on improvements to humidity measurements, and has included strong collaboration with theThe Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN), who are developing a long-term, ground based, global network of observing systems that collect reference-quality atmospheric measurements. Reference Radiosonde Brochure
Contact: Junhong Wang

TRAnsect Measurement (TRAM) System

TRAM is a platform to make surface-based in-situ measurements in situations where the dominant spatial scales are unknown. It is implemented as an electric train that uses a steel cable suspended along a set of fixed towers for its track. The track can be formed in almost any closed loop with climbs/descents of up to 15° and spans between towers of up to 20m. In principle, total track length is unlimited, though distances of more than 2km probably are not practical.
Contact: Steve Oncley