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9.7.1 Overview of Data Products

For radiosonde systems, the final data products typically consist of one or more ASCII files that contain the reduced thermodynamic data (pressure, temperature, relative humidity, dewpoint, etc.) and wind speed and wind direction as a function of altitude. Some radiosonde data systems store the thermodynamic information in one data file and the wind information in another, whereas other systems combine the observations into a single data file. Regardless of the approach used, the files containing the reduced wind and thermodynamic observations should be considered the final data products produced by the radiosonde sounding systems. Depending on the type of equipment, additional files may be created that include data reported in formats specifically intended for use by the NWS or other organizations, information on site location, sampling parameters, balloon position, etc. Typically, one set of files is created per sounding, that is, data from multiple soundings are not merged together.

For the remote sensing systems (sodar, radar wind profilers, RASS), the final data products usually consist of one or more ASCII files containing the averaged profiles of winds or virtual temperatures as a function of altitude. Supporting information provided with the reduced data products may include other variables such as horizontal and vertical meteorological velocity components (u, v, w), averaged return power, SNR or some other measure of signal strength, estimates of turbulence parameters ( , ), mixing depth, etc. Typically one set of files is produced per 24-hour sampling period. These data files should be considered the final data products produced by this class of upper-air monitoring system. Other (lower-level) information generated by these systems may include, for example, the Doppler moment data and raw Doppler spectra. The quantity of information produced by the remote sensing systems usually requires that the lower-level data be stored in a binary format to conserve disk space. These data should be archived for backup purposes and to support post-processing or additional analyses of periods of interest.

9.1 Fundamentals  
      9.1.1 Upper-Air Meteorological Variables  
     9.1.2 Radiosonde Sounding System  
     9.1.3 Doppler Sodar 
     9.1.4 Radar Wind Profiler 
     9.1.5 RASS  
 9.2 Performance Characteristics  
     9.2.1 Definition of Performance Specifications  
     9.2.2 Performance Characteristics of Radiosonde Sounding Systems 
     9.2.3 Performance Characteristics of Remote Sensing Systems  
 9.3 Monitoring Objectives and Goals  
     9.3.1 Data Quality Objectives  
 9.4 Siting and Exposure
 9.5 Installation and Acceptance Testing 
9.6 Quality Assurance and Quality Control 
     9.6.1 Calibration Methods  
     9.6.2 System and Performance Audits  
     9.6.3 Standard Operating Procedures 
     9.6.4 Operational Checks and Preventive Maintenance  
     9.6.5 Corrective Action and Reporting  
     9.6.6 Common Problems Encountered in Upper-Air Data Collection 
 9.7 Data Processing and Management (DP&M) 
9.7.1 Overview of Data Products  
     9.7.2 Steps in DP&M 
     9.7.3 Data Archiving  
 9.8 Recommendations for Upper-Air Data Collection 

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