A programmable data acquisition system to allow novel use of meteorological radiosondes for atmospheric science measurements is described. In its basic form it supports four analogue inputs at 16 bit resolution, and up to two further inputs at lower resolution configurable instead for digital instruments. It also provides multiple instrument power supplies (+8V, +16V, +5V and -8V) from the 9V radiosonde battery. During a balloon flight encountering air temperatures from +17textdegreeC to -66textdegreeC, the worst case voltage drift in the 5V unipolar digitisation circuitry was 20mV. The system liberates a new range of low cost atmospheric research measurements, by utilising radiosondes routinely launched internationally for weather forecasting purposes. No additional receiving equipment is required. Comparisons between the specially instrumented and standard meteorological radiosondes show negligible effect of the additional instrumentation on the standard meteorological data.
- atmospheric techniques, balloons, data acquisition, meteorological instruments, microcontrollers, radiosondes, remote sensing, weather forecasting