Propagation of radiosonde pressure sensor errors to ozonesonde measurements

R. M. Stauffer, G. A. Morris, Anne Mee Thompson, E. Joseph, G. J.R. Coetzee, N. R. Nalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several previous studies highlight pressure (or equivalently, pressure altitude) discrepancies between the radiosonde pressure sensor and that derived from a GPS flown with the radiosonde. The offsets vary during the ascent both in absolute and percent pressure differences. To investigate this problem further, a total of 731 radiosonde/ozonesonde launches from the Southern Hemisphere subtropics to northern mid-latitudes are considered, with launches between 2005 and 2013 from both longer term and campaign-based intensive stations. Five series of radiosondes from two manufacturers (International Met Systems: iMet, iMet-P, iMet-S, and Vaisala: RS80-15N and RS92-SGP) are analyzed to determine the magnitude of the pressure offset. Additionally, electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesondes from three manufacturers (Science Pump Corporation; SPC and ENSCI/Droplet Measurement Technologies; DMT) are analyzed to quantify the effects these offsets have on the calculation of ECC ozone (O3) mixing ratio profiles (O3MR) from the ozonesonde-measured partial pressure. Approximately half of all offsets are > ±0.6 hPa in the free troposphere, with nearly a third > ±1.0 hPa at 26 km, where the 1.0 hPa error represents ∼ 5% of the total atmospheric pressure. Pressure offsets have negligible effects on O3MR below 20 km (96% of launches lie within ±5% O3MR error at 20 km). Ozone mixing ratio errors above 10 hPa (∼ 30 km), can approach greater than ±10% (> 25% of launches that reach 30 km exceed this threshold). These errors cause disagreement between the integrated ozonesonde-only column O3 from the GPS and radiosonde pressure profile by an average of +6.5 DU. Comparisons of total column O3 between the GPS and radiosonde pressure profiles yield average differences of +1.1 DU when the O3 is integrated to burst with addition of the McPeters and Labow (2012) above-burst O3 column climatology. Total column differences are reduced to an average of-0.5 DU when the O3 profile is integrated to 10 hPa with subsequent addition of the O3 climatology above 10 hPa. The RS92 radiosondes are superior in performance compared to other radiosondes, with average 26 km errors of-0.12 hPa or +0.61% O3MR error. iMet-P radiosondes had average 26 km errors of-1.95 hPa or +8.75 % O3MR error. Based on our analysis, we suggest that ozonesondes always be coupled with a GPS-enabled radiosonde and that pressure-dependent variables, such as O3MR, be recalculated/reprocessed using the GPS-measured altitude, especially when 26 km pressure offsets exceed ±1.0 hPa/±5%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2014

Fingerprint

ozonesonde
radiosonde
sensor
mixing ratio
GPS
climatology
ozone
partial pressure
atmospheric pressure
droplet
Southern Hemisphere
troposphere
pump

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Stauffer, R. M., Morris, G. A., Thompson, A. M., Joseph, E., Coetzee, G. J. R., & Nalli, N. R. (2014). Propagation of radiosonde pressure sensor errors to ozonesonde measurements. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7(1), 65-79. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-7-65-2014
Stauffer, R. M. ; Morris, G. A. ; Thompson, Anne Mee ; Joseph, E. ; Coetzee, G. J.R. ; Nalli, N. R. / Propagation of radiosonde pressure sensor errors to ozonesonde measurements. In: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 2014 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 65-79.
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Stauffer, RM, Morris, GA, Thompson, AM, Joseph, E, Coetzee, GJR & Nalli, NR 2014, 'Propagation of radiosonde pressure sensor errors to ozonesonde measurements', Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 65-79. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-7-65-2014

Propagation of radiosonde pressure sensor errors to ozonesonde measurements. / Stauffer, R. M.; Morris, G. A.; Thompson, Anne Mee; Joseph, E.; Coetzee, G. J.R.; Nalli, N. R.

In: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Vol. 7, No. 1, 10.01.2014, p. 65-79.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Morris, G. A.

AU - Thompson, Anne Mee

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AU - Coetzee, G. J.R.

AU - Nalli, N. R.

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Stauffer RM, Morris GA, Thompson AM, Joseph E, Coetzee GJR, Nalli NR. Propagation of radiosonde pressure sensor errors to ozonesonde measurements. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 2014 Jan 10;7(1):65-79. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-7-65-2014