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Instrument: AVAPS : Airborne Vertical Atmosphere Profiling Systems
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The Airborne Vertical Atmosphere Profiling System (AVAPS) uses dropwindsonde
and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to measure the atmospheric state
parameters during the its descent. Dropwindsondes measure vertical profiles of
pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind during their descent through the
atmosphere. During CAMEX-3, the AVAPS system was deployed on the NASA DC-8
aircraft. There were over one hundred dropwindsondes released during the
experiment, with 39 released on one flight alone.

Vertical measurement of the atmosphere goes back many decades with the current
dropwindsonde coming into being in 1993. Working in collaboration with the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ Atlantic Oceanographic and
Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA/AOML) and the German Aerospace Research
Establishment (DLR), the National Center for Atmospheric Research/ Atmosphere
Technology Division (NCAR/ATD) developed a third-generation dropwindsonde using
a new sensor module and a GPS receiver from Vaisala, Inc. More accurate wind
profiles are now available because of a NCAR/ATD-developed, unique square-cone
parachute that reduces the initial shock load and stabilizes the dropwindsonde
as it falls. The dropswindsondes are the responsibility of NCAR/ATD/Surface and
Sounding Systems Facility who provided the final post experiment quality
control processing.

More information available at:

[Summary provided by NASA.]