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An atmospheric sounding is a measurement of vertical distribution of physical properties of the atmospheric column such as pressure, temperature, wind speed and wind direction (thus deriving wind shear), liquid water content, ozone concentration, pollution, and other properties. Such measurements are performed in a variety of ways including remote sensing and in situ observations.

The most common in situ sounding is a radiosonde, which usually is a weather balloon, but can also be a rocketsonde.

Remote sensing soundings generally use passive infrared and microwave radiometers:

  • airborne instruments
  • surface stations
  • Earth-observing satellite instruments such as AIRS and AMSU

There is even a sounder at Mars: the Mars climate sounder on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

See also


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