Taking an upper-air observation is a time-sensitive operation. Observers should carefully consider how much time it will take to prepare for launch. The official launch window times are stated in Chapter 5, Section C of this guide and in NWSM-10-1401, Section 3.1. Keep in mind that it takes a minimum of 15-20 minutes to properly prepare the sonde. Time must also be factored in for problems related to balloon inflation, such as changing of gas cylinders. Allow enough time that if the flight fails before reaching the legal height (400 hPa), there is still time to prepare and launch a second radiosonde.
The electronics of the TRS need 30 minutes time to warm-up prior to Baseline. This is especially true in cold weather. This should be done prior to leaving the building and inflating the balloon.
To begin, log on the RRS workstation and open the RWS software. Click “Ok” in the warning window. Click on “Run a Live Flight” (Figure 1.1).
Figure 1.1—Click on “Run a live flight” to begin.
A window will pop up asking for confirmation of startup of the UPS. Answer “Yes.” Note that the UPS will provide a 10 minute backup to the TRS and SPS in the event of main power failure. In the Hardware Status window, the red “X” next to the UPS status will eventually turn into a green check mark. This will cause a few windows to occasionally appear warning of a status change of the UPS system. Click “Ok.” Wait for this, and then proceed to the next step. If the UPS fails to start after a reasonable amount of time, notify the ETs. Look at the Antenna Orientation/TRS Display. The antenna should be pointed at an azimuth of 0/360 degrees and 0 degrees elevation.