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9.8 Recommendations for Upper-Air Data Collection

  • Suggested Data Quality Objectives (DOQs) for upper-air measurement systems are given in Table 9-5. DOQs for accuracy should be based on systematic differences; DOQs for precision should be based on the “comparability” statistic; DOQs for completeness should be based on percent data recovery.

  • Site selection for upper-air measurement systems is best accomplished in consultation with vendors or users with expertise in such systems. Operators and site technicians of upper-air monitoring systems should receive appropriate training prior to or during system shake-down. Training should include instruction in instrument principles, operations, maintenance, troubleshooting, data interpretation and validation.

  • System calibration and diagnostic checks of upper-air measurement systems should be performed at six month intervals, or in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, whichever is more frequent.

  • Data capture for wind direction and wind speed from a sodar or radar wind profiler is defined somewhat differently than for more conventional instruments. The following definitions and requirements apply to databases generated by these instruments

  • An averaging period (e.g., hourly) is considered valid if there are at least three valid levels of data for the period (independent of height).

  • If hourly average data are generated from sub-hourly intervals, the hourly values are considered valid if they consist for at least 30 minutes of valid sub- hourly data.

  • A valid level consists of all of the components needed to generate the horizontal wind vector.

  • Remote sensing data should be reviewed at least weekly and preferably daily to assess the operational status of the system and to ensure that data are valid and reasonable. 

General recommendations for the processing, management, and archival of upper-air meteorological data include:

  • A consistent/standardized database format should be established and maintained, at a minimum for each individual monitoring program.

  • The data archive should include raw, reduced, and validated data as well as other (low-level) data products, as appropriate (e.g., Doppler spectral moments data).

  • The upper-air data should be validated to Level 1 before distribution.

  • The data archive should be routinely backed up and checked for integrity.

  • A secondary backup of the data should be kept at an alternate location, routinely checked for integrity, and periodically recycled onto new storage media.

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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