The purpose of this guide is to provide detailed instructions on how to perform an upper-air observation using the Radiosonde Replacement System (RRS). The primary goal of this guide is to give users of the RRS system an easy-to-follow, step-by-step manual for taking a complete upper-air observation beginning with preparation of the sonde, continuing with release of the balloon, and ending with flight termination.
This guide is a basic how-to only. This is NOT meant to replace the RRS Workstation User Guide (dated October 2005) or NWSM 10-1401. Observers must still be familiar with the contents of these documents, particularly Appendices D and E of NWSM 10-1401. These two sections give more detailed information on balloon and radiosonde preparation and launch procedures. This guide is simply a summary/combination of these two sections.
Some of the information in this guide may differ from NWSM 10-1401. In particular, battery soak and baseline times are different. The times in this guide are new recommendations that solve several problems, but have not yet been published. Much of the information in NWSM 10-1401 also applies to observations using the MicroART system. Many of these procedures will be slightly different for the RRS/RWS system.
This guide is presented in chronological order from pre-release through termination. After balloon release, actual flights times will vary, so they have been left out. However, the general sequence of events will remain the same. These instructions are very detailed, primarily to assist first-time users. A quick-reference guide with the basic steps has been included for observers with more experience.