First Weather Sonde of 2013 Recovered

Spring is nearing and so is the 2013 Sonde season. Landings are still in the dark so not too good for video or pictures but that will soon change. This is Sonde #4 (SN 7037645), it was launched from Oakland California on March 7th 2013 at 3pm and retrieved the same day at 7pm while still transmitting it’s position from a field near Elk Grove California.

The Sonde was received on L-Band (1682 MHz) using a 1.2m dish and tracked using r00t’s RRS Sonde Decoding software (shown below).

Last received position data from Sonde#4 before going to retrieve.

Last received position data from Sonde#4 before going to retrieve.

Here is the recovered Sonde.

Sonde#4.

Sonde#4.

As you can see it had bit of a hard landing.

Sonde#4 showing an impact hit on landing.

Sonde#4 showing an impact hit on landing.

Launch location, date and time.

Launch location, date and time.

Here is nice 3D position track of Sonde from point of first signal acquisition to the last received position before going mobile to retrieve. The position near Elk Grove is landing area.

3D plot of position data from Sonde#4.

3D plot of position data from Sonde#4.

The elevation profile is shown below, as you can see it was a quick and steep descent.

Elevation profile of Sonde#4 up until last signal was received.

Elevation profile of Sonde#4 up until last signal was received.

As you can see from image below, r00t’s predicted landing spot was pretty close to the actual one. This was critical because once the Sonde lands the signal is attenuated quite a bit. I picked up the signal about 1.5 miles from actual landing position and luckily it was very close to a road in between fields.

Last, Predicted and Actual Landing Position of Sonde#4.

Last, Predicted and Actual Landing Position of Sonde#4.

Category(s): Sonde
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5 Responses to First Weather Sonde of 2013 Recovered

  1. I would love to try out r00t’s RRS sonde decoding software. I have heard two sondes pass by my location on 1680 MHz and I tho k it would be fun to track them down. I have a 1.68GHz helix antenna and preamp. Currently using an R-7000 for my receiver. Let me know how I can try out the decoding software.

    Thanks,
    Charlie
    W5CDT
    N902ES

    Doug Niessen says:

    Hi, I just moved from Folsom,CA to Mandan,ND last year, wish I was still in the area to track sondes with you. (and it’s warmer there) You mention using software from r00t to decode the data. Is this his Graw DFM-06 pkg. Or is the RRS Sonde different. The local NWS is launching 1680mhz MKIIa sondes and Sondemonitor with DFM-06 will not decode any data.
    Thanks,
    Doug k6sts

    • Hi Doug,

      Yes, the usual software decoders will not work with RRS Sondes. I will reply via email with more info.

      Trango.

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