The place for sodars in a high-technology environment.

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In an era of increasingly complex technology, some of the atmospheric quantities most difficult to measure and observe are yielding their secrets to increasingly complex instruments and combinations of instruments. For example, water vapor profiles, a long-time nemesis to detailed examination, have become measurable with the use of Raman lidar; temperature profile measurements are becoming relatively routine with radio acoustic sounding systems (RASSs) or infrared Fourier transform instrumentation such as the atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer (AERI); and radar, lidar, or combinations of the two are enabling wind profile measurements to increasing altitudes. What, then, is the role of the relatively ... continued below

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10 p.

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Coulter, R. L. June 12, 1998.

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In an era of increasingly complex technology, some of the atmospheric quantities most difficult to measure and observe are yielding their secrets to increasingly complex instruments and combinations of instruments. For example, water vapor profiles, a long-time nemesis to detailed examination, have become measurable with the use of Raman lidar; temperature profile measurements are becoming relatively routine with radio acoustic sounding systems (RASSs) or infrared Fourier transform instrumentation such as the atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer (AERI); and radar, lidar, or combinations of the two are enabling wind profile measurements to increasing altitudes. What, then, is the role of the relatively pedestrian sodar in such an era? Because the sodar's propagation speed in the atmosphere is six orders of magnitude smaller than that of its electromagnetic counterparts (3 x 10{sup 2} vs. 3 x 10{sup 8} m/s), severely limiting its rate of interrogation, and because the sodar's signal limit frequency modulation techniques, many high-technology advances associated with enormous increases in computation speed and available memory have had relatively little direct impact on acoustic remote sensing. However, the principal elements of acoustic remote sensing continue to make it a useful, even essential, tool for obtaining a better understanding of the physics of the lower atmosphere. The sodar's ''slow'' propagation speed provides relatively easy access to the region between 10 m and several hundred meters above the surface that is often inaccessible to other instruments. This is the region of the atmosphere where conditions often change radically with height, the ''matching'' region between large-scale forcing and small-scale surface heterogeneities that can have large effects on human activity. The atmosphere provides signals for sodars that are rich in content because the phase speed of sound is dependent on the atmosphere itself and is tied directly to the atmosphere's temperature and wind structure. Hence, the signals from acoustic remote sensing instruments can provide boundary conditions crucial for the proper operation of numerical models of the atmosphere whose output is becoming increasingly important in individual and business decision making.

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10 p.

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OSTI as DE00010849

Medium: P; Size: 10 pages

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  • 9th International Symposium on Acoustic Remote Sensing and Associated Techniques of the Atmosphere and Oceans, Vienna (AT), 07/06/1998--07/10/1998

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  • Report No.: ANL/ER/CP-96667
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 10849
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624062

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  • June 12, 1998

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 6:52 p.m.

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Coulter, R. L. The place for sodars in a high-technology environment., article, June 12, 1998; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624062/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.