Facility Description

GAUS was a balloon-borne radiosonde sounding system to make high resolution measurements of temperature, humidity and winds for research applications around the world. It has been replaced by NCAR's Vaisala MW41 sounding system, which is part of the Integrated Sounding System (ISS).

Each system included a meteorological observing station to record thermodynamic data at the surface and the infrastructure to provide local data processing, display and communications. Data from GAUS were transferred by Internet, Global Telecommunication System (GTS) or phone to scientists at universities, other research institutions and operational weather centers. Mobile GAUS (MGAUS) was used by scientists to investigate rapidly moving or targeted phenomenon. GAUS was operated by the Atmospheric Profiling Group and was deployed with the ISS (Integrated Sounding System).


The GAUS rawinsonde system, typically housed in a towable trailer, included equipment to conduct atmospheric soundings and make supporting surface meteorological observations.  A Vaisala RS 92G radiosonde was used to obtain thermodynamic measurements and GPS winds. Sounding thermodynamic data measured by the radiosonde are processed on site by the NCAR-designed ground station. Surface data are collected from surface meteorological instruments connected to a Campbell CR-10 datalogger.

The standard GAUS data system consists of a power supply, a USB to RS-232 port expander, a 403 MHz receiver, and a personal computer. Information is transferred to and from the GAUS personal computer through a USB connection. The port expander allows data access from the essential components of the GAUS system, i.e. receiver, surface met, and GPS to process and display the atmospheric soundings.

The GAUS computer operates in Windows with data processing software based on the development system LabVIEW from National Instruments. This software system acquires, processes and displays sounding data in both graphic and text formats. Data is stored in raw form for post processing and archiving. The latest version of the NCAR sounding post-processing and display software, Aspen, processes GAUS sounding data. Here are examples of Aspen display output from a GAUS sounding during CASES-99:

Winds Plot Skew-T Plot


Lead Contact
William Brown