Fast-response high-resolution temperature sonde aimed at contamination-free profile observations
Abstract. An innovative temperature sonde, equipped with an ultra thin tungsten wire (10 μm in diameter), has been developed to meet the scientific requirements suitable for climate change research. The response time, shorter than 40 ms achieved at the altitude of 30 km, enables the temperature observations with the radiation correction of less than 0.5 K in the whole observation range. Test flights during the development stage reveal significant artificial perturbations in the observed temperature profiles. They are identified as the thermal contamination arising primarily from radiosonde package box with some additional effect from the launching balloon. The modification of the sensor mount successfully removed the contribution from the former effect. On the other hand, some filtering procedure need to be applied to remove the latter, although the use of a long suspension line will be effective. There remain unavoidable small fluctuations (less than 0.4 K) that are brought about by the solid angle modulation of the illumination against the sensor body in the daytime. While conventional radiation correction may unintentionally have taken a part of such contaminations into account, they may not be properly corrected in existing radiosonde data, as the origin of errors has not been identified. Our tungsten sonde that scarcely relies on the ambiguous correction procedures will be ideal for serving as a kind of an international reference.