Evaluation of radiosonde humidity sensors at low temperature using ultralow-temperature humidity chamber

Choi, Byung Il; Lee, Sang-Wook; Woo, Sang-Bong; Kim, Jong Chul; Kim, Yong-Gyoo; Yang, Seung Gu

Accurate measurements of temperature and water vapor in the upper-air are of great interest in relation to weather prediction and climate change. Those measurements are mostly conducted using radiosondes equipped with a variety of sensors that are flown by a balloon up to lower stratosphere. Reference Upper Air Network (GRUAN) has identified water vapor pressure as one of the most important measurands and has set an accuracy requirement of 2 % in terms of the mixing ratio. In order to achieve the requirement, many errors in the humidity measurement such as a temperature dependency in sensing characteristics including measurement values and response time need to be corrected because humidity sensors of radiosondes pass through low-pressure (1 kPa) and low-temperature (inline-formula−80 inline-formulaC) environments in the upper-air. In this paper, the humidity sensing characteristics of Jinyang radiosonde sensors in relation to temperature dependencies were evaluated at low temperature using a newly developed ultralow-temperature humidity chamber. The sensitivity characteristic curve of the radiosonde sensors was evaluated down to inline-formula−80 inline-formulaC, and the calibration curves of the humidity sensor and the temperature sensor were obtained. The response time of humidity sensor slowly increased from 52 to 116 s at the temperature from 20 to inline-formula−40 inline-formulaC, respectively, and then rapidly increased to almost one hour at inline-formula−80 inline-formulaC. Those results will help to improve the reliability of the upper-air observation data.

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Choi, Byung Il / Lee, Sang-Wook / Woo, Sang-Bong / et al: Evaluation of radiosonde humidity sensors at low temperature using ultralow-temperature humidity chamber. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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