DYNAMO R/V Mirai Sounding V3.1 Data

1.0 General Description

This dataset includes 518 high vertical resolution (2 sec) soundings from the R/V Mirai collected during the DYNAMO field campaign for 2011. Soundings were typically released every three hours during the two cruises (26 September through 26 October and 29 October through 1 December 2011) and four times daily from 5-10 December 2011. For most of these soundings R/V Mirai was on station near 80.5E and 8.00S Latitude. These data were converted to the EOL Sounding Composite (ESC) format. The station used Vaisala RS92-SGPD radiosondes. The ground station software was Digicora III/MW31/ver3.64.1. This data set is considered preliminary. These data were provided by JAMSTEC and had preliminarly quality control by NCAR/EOL. This L3.1 version of the data set had an additional correction applied for deck heating effects by JAMSTEC.

1.1 Data Set Contact

Scot Loehrer

1.2 Detailed Site Information

The following information was provided by Kunio Yoneyama (JAMSTEC) about the R/V Mirai release site.

Basic Information

Sonde Type         : Vaisala RS92-SGPD
Processor          : DigiCORA III / MW31 (software: ver. 3.64.1)
Balloon Launcher   : Vaisala ASAP container (semi-automatic launcher)
Ground check       : Vaisala GC25 (for T/RH)
                     Vaisala PTB330 for pressure
Sounding mode      : Operational mode (auto editing)
Data archive       : ASCII (tsv) files are archived as Vaisala FLEDT
                     (floating-point EDT), whose RH values are recorded with
                     two decimal places of precision.
Balloon            : TOTEX TA-200  (except 5 cases with TA-350;
                     2011100500, 2011102915, 2011112806, 2011112812, 2011112815)

Observation period : Sept. 26 - Oct. 26, 2011 (Crusie code: MR11-07 Leg-1)
                     Oct.  29 - Dec.  1, 2011 (Cruise code: MR11-07 Leg-2)
                     Dec.   5 - Dec. 10, 2011 (Cruise code: MR11-08 Leg-1)


L x B x D          : 128.6 m x 19.0 m x 13.2 m
Gross tonnage      : 8,687 tons
Call sign          : JNSR


1) Launcher container is located at 18m from MSL at the starboard side.
2) Sometimes, radiosonde was released manually from port side (but at the
   same level as the container; 18m from MSL).
3) Surface values were taken from the MIRAI surface Met station, whose
   T/RH sensors (Vaisala HMP45A) are located at both sides at 21m from MSL.
   Starboard-side data were used during MR11-07 Leg-1, while port-side data
   were used during MR11-07 Leg-2 and MR11-8 Leg-1 cruises.
   Distance between Met station and container is roughly 30 m apart.
4) It is known that near surface data are often affeted by ship's iron body
   heating/cooling at daytime/nighttime soundings. Thus, it is recommended
   to correct surface values (within 4.5 hPa from the deck) by replacing
   with values obtained by extrapolation using data taken at the upper
   layer (6 - 18 hPa from the deck). Details on this can be found in
   Yoneyama et al. (2002).


1) R/V MIRAI CINDY2011 cruise report.
   Available from;

2) Yoneyama, K., M. Hanyu, F. Yoshiura, S. Sueyoshi, and M. Katsumata, 2002:
   Radiosonde observation from the ship in the tropical region.
   JASMTECR (Tech. Report), Vol. 45, 31-39.
   Available from;

For more information, please contact to Kunio Yoneyama (yoneyamak@jamstec.go.jp).

2.0 Detailed Data Description

2.1 Detailed Format Description

All upper air soundings were converted to National Center for Atmospheric Research/Earth Observing Laboratory (NCAR/EOL) Sounding Composite Format (ESC). ESC is a version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) CLASS format and is an ASCII format consisting of 15 header records for each sounding followed by the data records with associated QC information.

Header Records

The header records (15 total records) contain data type, project ID, site ID, site location, release time, sonde type, meteorological and wind data processors. The first five header lines contain information identifying the sounding, and have a rigidly defined form. The following 7 header lines are used for auxiliary information and comments about the sounding, and may vary from dataset to dataset. The last 3 header records contain header information for the data columns. Line 13 holds the field names, line 14 the field units, and line 15 contains dashes ('-' characters) delineating the extent of the field.

The five standard header lines are as follows:

LineLabel (padded to 35 char)Contents
1Data Type:Description of type and resolution of data.
2Project ID:Id of weather project.
3Release Site Type/Site ID:Description of the release site.
4Release Location (lon,lat,alt):Position of release site in the format described below.
5UTC Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s):Time of release, in the format: yyyy, mm, dd, hh:mm:ss

The release location is given as: lon (deg min), lat (deg min), lon (dec. deg), lat (dec. deg), alt (m)

Longitude in deg min is in the format: ddd mm.mm'W where ddd is the number of degrees from True North (with leading zeros if necessary), mm.mm is the decimal number of minutes, and W represents W or E for west or east longitude, respectively. Latitude has the same format as longitude, except there are only two digits for degrees and N or S for north/south latitude. The decimal equivalent of longitude and latitude and station elevation follow.

The seven non-standard header lines may contain any label and contents. The labels are padded to 35 characters to match the standard header lines. Records for this dataset include the following non-standard header lines.

LineLabel (padded to 35 char)Contents
6Sonde Id/Sonde Type:G2143093!00/Vaisala RS92-SGPD
12Nominal Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s):Nominal time of release, in the format: yyyy, mm, dd, hh:mm:ss

Data Records

The data records each contain time from release, pressure, temperature, dew point, relative humidity, U and V wind components, wind speed and direction, ascent rate, balloon position data, altitude, and quality control flags (see the QC code description). Each data line contains 21 fields, separated by spaces, with a total width of 130 characters. The data are right-justified within the fields. All fields have one decimal place of precision, with the exception of latitude and longitude, which have three decimal places of precision. The contents and sizes of the 21 fields that appear in each data record are as follows:

Field No.WidthFormatParameterUnitsMissing Value
35F5.1Dry-bulb TemperatureDegrees C999.0
45F5.1Dew Point TemperatureDegrees C999.0
55F5.1Relative HumidityPercent999.0
66F6.1U Wind ComponentMeters / Second9999.0
76F6.1V Wind ComponentMeters / Second9999.0
85F5.1Wind SpeedMeters / Second999.0
95F5.1Wind DirectionDegrees999.0
105F5.1Ascent RateMeters / Second999.0
135F5.1Elevation AngleDegrees999.0
145F5.1Azimuth AngleDegrees999.0
164F4.1QC for PressureCode (see below)99.0
174F4.1QC for TemperatureCode (see below)99.0
184F4.1QC for HumidityCode (see below)99.0
194F4.1QC for U Wind ComponentCode (see below)99.0
204F4.1QC for V Wind ComponentCode (see below)99.0
214F4.1QC for Ascension RateCode (see below)99.0

Fields 16 through 21 contain the Quality Control information derived at the NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory (NCAR/EOL). Any QC information from the original sounding is replaced by the following EOL codes:

99.0Unchecked (QC information is "missing.") ("UNCHECKED")
1.0Checked, datum seems physically reasonable. ("GOOD")
2.0Checked, datum seems questionable on physical basis. ("MAYBE")
3.0Checked, datum seems to be in error. ("BAD")
4.0Checked, datum is interpolated. ("ESTIMATED")
9.0Checked, datum was missing in original file. ("MISSING")

Sample Data

The following is a sample record of DYNAMO R/V Mirai high resolution radiosonde data in ESC format. The data portion is much longer than 80 characters and, therefore, wraps around to a second line. See section 2.1 for an exact format specification

Data Type:                         RV Mirai/Ascending
Project ID:                        DYNAMO
Release Site Type/Site ID:         JNSR
Release Location (lon,lat,alt):    080 31.20'E, 08 00.60'S, 80.520, -8.010, 18.0
UTC Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s):    2011, 09, 30, 21:00:00
Sonde Id/Sonde Type:               G2143093!00/Vaisala RS92-SGPD
Ground Station Software:           Digicora III/MW31/ver3.64.1
Nominal Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s):2011, 09, 30, 21:00:00
 Time  Press  Temp  Dewpt  RH    Ucmp   Vcmp   spd   dir   Wcmp     Lon     Lat    Ele   Azi   Alt    Qp   Qt   Qrh  Qu   Qv   QdZ
  sec    mb     C     C     %     m/s    m/s   m/s   deg   m/s      deg     deg    deg   deg    m    code code code code code code
------ ------ ----- ----- ----- ------ ------ ----- ----- ----- -------- ------- ----- ----- ------- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
   0.0 1008.8  24.8  23.1  90.0   -1.9    0.2   1.9  95.0 999.0   80.520  -8.010   0.0 275.0    18.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0  9.0
   2.0 1007.6  24.8  22.6  87.8   -2.3    0.3   2.3  96.8   5.1   80.510  -8.000   0.5 280.1    28.1 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0
   4.0 1006.5  24.7  22.7  89.1   -2.7    0.4   2.7  98.4   5.1   80.510  -8.000   0.9 280.0    38.2 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0
   6.0 1005.4  24.6  22.8  89.8   -3.1    0.5   3.1  99.9   4.9   80.510  -8.000   1.4 280.0    48.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0
   8.0 1004.1  24.5  22.6  89.5   -3.5    0.7   3.5 101.1   5.6   80.510  -8.000   1.9 279.8    59.1 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0
  10.0 1002.7  24.3  22.6  90.3   -3.8    0.8   3.9 102.3   6.2   80.510  -8.000   2.4 279.8    71.5 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0
  12.0 1001.3  24.2  22.8  91.8   -4.2    1.0   4.3 103.5   6.0   80.510  -8.000   2.9 279.9    83.5 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0
  14.0 1000.1  24.1  22.9  92.9   -4.4    1.2   4.6 104.6   5.4   80.510  -8.000   3.4 279.9    94.2 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0 99.0

2.2 Data Remarks

2.3 Station List

JNSR R/V Mirai N/A Variable Variable Variable

3.0 Quality Control Processing

This dataset underwent an automated QC process. The dataset underwent internal consistency checks which included two types of checks, gross limit checks on all parameters and rate-of-change checks on temperature, pressure and ascension rate. Some further information on the QC processing conducted by NCAR/EOL can be found in Loehrer et al. (1996) and Loehrer et al. (1998).

3.1 Gross Limit Checks

These checks were conducted on each sounding and data were automatically flagged as appropriate. Only the data point under examination was flagged. NCAR/EOL conducted the following gross limit checks on the DYNAMO R/V Mirai sounding dataset. In the table P = pressure, T = temperature, RH = relative humidity, U = U wind component, V = V wind component, B = bad, and Q = questionable.

ParameterGross Limit CheckParameter(s) FlaggedFlag Applied
Pressure < 0 mb or > 1050 mb PB
Altitude < 0 m or > 40000 m P, T, RHQ
Temperature < -90 °C or > 45 °C TT
Dew Point < -99.9 °C or > 33 °C
> Temperature
Relative Humidity < 0% or > 100% RHB
Wind Speed < 0 m/s or > 100 m/s
> 150 m/s
U, V
U, V
U Wind Component < 0 m/s or > 100 m/s
> 150 m/s
V Wind Component < 0 m/s or > 100 m/s
> 150 m/s
Wind Direction < 0° or > 360° U, VB
Ascent Rate < -10 m/s or > 10 m/s P, T, RHQ

3.2 Vertical Consistency Checks

These checks were conducted on each sounding and data were automatically flagged as appropriate. These checks were started at the lowest level of the sounding and compared neighboring 2-sec data points (except at pressures less than 100 mb where 30-sec average values were used). In the case of checks ensuring that the values increased/decreased as expected, only the data point under examination was flagged. However, for the other checks, all of the data points used in the examination were flagged. All items within the table are as previously defined.

ParameterVertical Consitency CheckParameter(s) FlaggedFlag Applied
Time decreasing / equal NoneNone
Altitude decreasing / equal P, T, RHQ
Pressure increasing / equal
> 1 mb/s or < -1 mb/s
> 2 mb/s or < -2 mb/s
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
Temperature < -15 °C/km
< -30 °C/km
> 50 °C/km (not applied at p < 250 mb)
>100 °C/km (not applied at p < 2 50 mb)
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
Ascent Rate change of > 3 m/s or & lt; -3 m/s
change of > 5 m/s or < -5 m/s

3.3 Visual Quality Checks

Each sounding was visually examined for data quality issues. Any issues found were flagged in the data file and/or noted in Section 3.4.

3.4 Data Quality Issues

There are near surface issues being examined at this station. See section 1.2 for more information).

The release at 12 UTC on 28 November had issues with icing on the balloon. This caused the sonde to have three cycles of ascent and descent through the region from around 500-700mb as the balloon iced over and descended and then melted and ascended. These data should be used with caution.

3.5 Ship Deck Heating Correction

Temperature and humidity data near the ship deck are easily affected by the ship's iron body warming/cooling during the daytime/nighttime soundings. Thus, by following the technique shown in Yoneyama et al. (2002), near surface values have been replaced with ones calculated by a linear extrapolation using the data between 6 - 18 hPa above from the deck. This L3.1 version of the data set was released 11 June 2013. The soundings that have had this correction applied are noted in the header by the following record:

Remarks: Deck Heating Correction was applied. (Yoneyama et al. 2002)

4.0 References

Loehrer, S. M., T. A. Edmands, and J. A. Moore, 1996: TOGA COARE upper-air sounding data archive: development and quality control procedures. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 2651-2671.

Loehrer, S. M., S. F. Williams, and J. A. Moore, 1998: Results from UCAR/JOSS quality control of atmospheric soundings from field projects. Preprints, Tenth Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 1-6.

Yoneyama, K., M. Hanyu, F. Yoshiura, S. Sueyoshi, and M. Katsumata, 2002: Radiosonde observation from the ship in the tropical region. JAMSTECR (Tech Rep), 45, 31-39. Available from http://www.godac.jamstec.go.jp/catalog/data/doc_catalog/media/shiken45_04.pdf