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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1759486

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Meteorology -radiosonde
Instrument Type
Vaisala RS92-SGP radiosonde  radiosondes
Instrument Mounting free-floating balloon
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Mr Richard Jones
Originating Organization University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) Ice Sheet Stability (iSTAR) Programme
Ocean2ice (iSTAR A)

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier ISTAR_RADIOSONDE_21ST_FEB_1145
BODC Series Reference 1759486

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2014-02-21 11:45
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2014-02-21 13:28
Nominal Cycle Interval 6.0 metres

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 74.36120 S ( 74° 21.7' S )
Longitude 104.41850 W ( 104° 25.1' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.05 to 0.1 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth -19743.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth -23.0 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Sea Floor Depth -
Sea Floor Depth Source -
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Variable common depth - All sensors are grouped effectively at the same depth, but this depth varies significantly during the series
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface
Sea Floor Depth Datum -


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
AADYAA011DaysDate (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ011DaysTime (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
ACYCAA011DimensionlessSequence number
AHSLZZ011MetresHeight (spatial coordinate) relative to sea level
CAPHZZ011MillibarsPressure (measured variable) exerted by the atmosphere
CDEWZZ011Degrees CelsiusDew point temperature of the atmosphere
CMXRZZ011Grams per kilogramMixing ratio of water vapour {humidity mixing ratio} per unit dry weight of atmosphere
CRELZZ011PercentRelative humidity of the atmosphere
CTMPZZ011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the atmosphere

Definition of Rank

  • Rank 1 is a one-dimensional parameter
  • Rank 2 is a two-dimensional parameter
  • Rank 0 is a one-dimensional parameter describing the second dimension of a two-dimensional parameter (e.g. bin depths for moored ADCP data)

Problem Reports

No Problem Report Found in the Database

Data Access Policy

Open Data

These data have no specific confidentiality restrictions for users. However, users must acknowledge data sources as it is not ethical to publish data without proper attribution. Any publication or other output resulting from usage of the data should include an acknowledgment.

If the Information Provider does not provide a specific attribution statement, or if you are using Information from several Information Providers and multiple attributions are not practical in your product or application, you may consider using the following:

"Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0."

Narrative Documents

RS92- SGP Vaisala Radiosonde

The RS92 Vaisala radiosonde is equipped with atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity sensors and with fully digital data transmission capabilities. It also includes a code correlating GPS receiver for accurate positioning during deployment and for continuous wind data availability.

Official Instrument Specification Sheet

Summary of specifications

Temperature sensor

Type: capacitive wire

Measurement range +60 °C to -90 °C
Resolution 0.1 °C

Humidity sensor

Type: thin-film capacitor, heated twin sensor
Measurement range 0 to 100 %RH
Resolution 1 %RH

Pressure sensor

Type: Silicon
Measurement range 1080 hPa to 3 hPa
Resolution 0.1 hPa


Order codes with different battery types
RS92-SGPD alkaline (dry-cell), 9 V nominal
RS92-SGPL lithium, 9 V nominal
RS92-SGPA dry-cell for AUTOSONDE, 9 V nominal


Transmitter type Synthesized
Frequency band 403 MHz


Code correlating GPS receiver (SA Off, PDOP<4)
Number of channels 12
Positioning uncertainty, horizontal 10 m
Positioning uncertainty, vertical 20 m

BODC Processing - iSTAR Radiosonde data

Data were received by BODC in Matlab files, with one file containing all data from the iSTAR Radiosonde deployments. The data were reformatted to QXF (a NetCDF file format) by in house software. A separate QXF file was created for data from each deployment. Metadata were also extracted from the originator's file and used to populate the BODC database.

The following tables shows how the variables within the files were mapped to appropriate BODC parameter codes:

Originator's parameter name Origintator's units Description BODC Parameter Code BODC Units Comments
Temperature Kelvin Temperature of the atmosphere. CTMPZZ01 Degrees Celsius Conversion of -273.15 applied.
RH (Relative Humidity) Percent Relative humidity of the atmosphere. The ratio of the amount of water vapour in the air compared to the maximum amount of water vapour that can theoretically be held at the air's temperature. CRELZZ01 Percent  
u_wind Metres per second Eastward wind velocity in the atmosphere. The component of the wind blowing towards true east. ESEWZZXX Metres per second  
v_wind Metres per second Northward wind velocity in the atmosphere. The component of the wind blowing towards true north. ESNSZZXX Metres per second  
Height Metres Height above sea level AHSLZZ01 Metres  
Pressure hPa Pressure (measured variable) exerted by the atmosphere CAPHZZ01 Millibars 1 hPa = 1mbar (no conversion required)
Dewpoint_temp Kelvin Dew point temperature of the atmosphere. The temperature to which air must cool to become saturated with water wapour. CDEWZZ01 Degrees Celsius Conversion of -273.15 applied.
Mixing_ratio Grams per kilogram Mixing ratio of water vapour {humidity mixing ratio} per unit dry weight of atmosphere. Ratio of the mass of water vapour to the mass of dry air CMXRZZ01 Grams per kilogram  
Wind_direction Degrees Wind direction (relative to moving platform) in the atmosphere ERWDZZ01 Degrees  
Wind_speed Metres per second Wind speed (relative to moving platform) in the atmosphere ERWSZZ01 Metres per second  
Azimuth (compass direction that the radiosonde is from start location) Degrees Clockwise angle (between plane containing an object and true north) {Azimuth} by unspecified GPS system GNAOLC01 Degrees  
Range Metres Range (from fixed reference point) by unspecified GPS system RIFNAX01 Kilometres Conversion of /1000 applied
Longitude Degrees Longitude east (WGS84) by unspecified GPS system ALONGP01 Degrees  
Latitude Degrees Latitude north (WGS84) by unspecified GPS system ALATGP01 Degrees  

Following transfer to QXF, the data were quality controlled using BODC's in-house visualisation software.

Originator's processing - iSTAR Radiosonde data

Data collection

38 radiosondes were attached to weather balloons and deployed from iSTAR cruise RRS RRS James Clark Ross JR20140126 in the Amundsen Sea. The data were collected for the Ocean2ice (iSTAR A) project which is part of the Natural Environment Research Council funded iSTAR programme.

The radiosondes collected an atmospheric profile of temperature, pressure and humidity, and a built in GPS unit was used to calculate wind speed and direction. An outdoor tripod with a GPS antenaa on the ship was used to relay the location of the radiosonde whilst a second antenna was used to relay data from the radiosonde to the ground station.

For more information about the radiosonde deployments and data collection see the cruise report

Data processing

The radiosondes are calibrated on board the ship prior to launch. The data supplied to BODC have also been quality controlled by the originator. No erroneous spikes were identified in the data by the originator. Some data drop outs were identified though (particularly higher up the profile when the radiosonde was further from the ship). In the clean data file (ingested by BODC) the data drop outs (where a value of -32768 are inserted into the raw data) are replaced by NaNs. This happens most often in the wind speed, direction, latitude and longitude fields when the radiosonde is too far from the ship for the GPS system (often they cut out above a certain altitude).

Project Information

The Ice Sheet Stability (iSTAR) programme

Background and objectives

The iSTAR programme aims to measure the rate that ice is being lost from the West Antarctic ice sheet, and to improve our understanding of what might be driving this loss how it is changing over time. The rate of loss of water from ice in glaciers in the Antarctic (and Greenland) is more than the amount of water being deposited in these areas by precipitation. This has changed our understanding of these systems and the rate of ice loss is a matter of interest for sea level and climate research. Improving our understanding of the processes and impacts of changes to these systems is vital for better predictions for sea level rise in the future and will feed in to climate research. This programme combines scientific research of glaciers and the surrounding ocean environment (including how they impact each other). Research about the oceans was focused on the Amundsen Sea Sector of West Antarctica with instruments deployed from the research ship RRS James Clark Ross. Research about the ice was focused on Pine Island Glacier, Thwaites Glacier and Union Glacier with measurements taken during two expeditions across the ice. This programme was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The programme is split in to four projects:

Ocean2ice: Processes and variability of ocean heat transport toward ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (iSTAR A)

Ocean under ice: Ocean circulation and melting beneath the ice shelves of the south-eastern Amundsen Sea (iSTAR B)

Dynamic ice: Dynamical control on the response of Pine Island Glacier (iSTAR C)

Ice loss: The contribution to sea-level rise of the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica (iSTAR D)


The iSTAR research programme is managed by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on behalf of NERC. Operational support, in the form of logistics planning and infrastructure, and Communication and Knowledge Exchange support are provided by BAS. There are four science projects and participants in these projects represent the following organisations:

  • British Antarctic Survey
  • National Oceanography Centre
  • Newcastle University
  • Scott Polar Research Institute
  • University College London
  • University of Bristol
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St. Andrews
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Washington

Fieldwork and data collection

A wide range of data parameters were collected for this programme. Physical and chemical measurements of the ocean close to and next to the ice shelf were made using instruments deployed from ship, on moorings, on autonomous platforms and seal tags. Measurements were also made of the glaciers and ice shelfs including radar and seismic surveys and ice cores. There were also meteorological and atmospheric measurements taken. For more information about the data collected on each of the four projects see the project web pages.

Data management

Data management for ocean data will be done by the British Oceanographic Data Centre whilst ice data will be managed by the Polar Data Centre.

For more information about iSTAR programme see the: iSTAR Programme Website

Ocean2ice: Processes and variability of ocean heat transport toward ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (iSTAR A)

Background and objectives

Ocean2ice (otherwise referred to as iSTAR A) is a project that is part of NERC's Ice Sheet Stability programme. The project was designed to investigate how relatively warm water gets close to and beneath glaciers in the Antarctic and what impact this warm water has on the rate of ice melt at these sites. This research and collection of data will to feed in to climate and sea level forecasting and research. This project was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.


The principal investigator for the Ocean2ice project is Professor Karen Heywood, University of East Anglia. Other participants in the project represent the following organisations:

  • British Antarctic Survey
  • National Oceanography Centre
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St. Andrews

Fieldwork and data collection

Oceanographic data were collected from a wide range of instruments from the research ship RRS James Clark Ross between 26 January and 08 March 2014 in the Amundsen Sea. Data collected include measurements of the physical conditions (including temperature and salinity), current speeds and directions, chemical measurements of the water column (including oxygen and chlorophyll-a concentrations). A fleet of Seagliders (ocean robots that measure physical parameters including temperature, salinity and current speeds and directions) were also deployed to measure conditions close to the ice shelf. Moorings were deployed by the project and have measured conditions in the area over a couple of years. In addition Seal tags (small sensors glued to the fur of seals which fall off when the seals moult their fur) were deployed and transmit data back via satellite networks to scientists. These seal tag deployments give the scientists the rare opportunity to measure water properties below the ice shelf.

Data management

All data collected by the Ocean2ice project are to be submitted to the British Oceanographic Data Centre for careful storage, quality control, archiving and distribution to scientists, education, industry and the public.

For more information about Ocean2ice see the iSTAR A project page

Data Activity or Cruise Information


Cruise Name JR20140126 (JR294, JR295)
Departure Date 2014-01-26
Arrival Date 2014-03-08
Principal Scientist(s)Karen J Heywood (University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences)
Ship RRS James Clark Ross

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

No Fixed Station Information held for the Series

BODC Quality Control Flags

The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:

Flag Description
Blank Unqualified
< Below detection limit
> In excess of quoted value
A Taxonomic flag for affinis (aff.)
B Beginning of CTD Down/Up Cast
C Taxonomic flag for confer (cf.)
D Thermometric depth
E End of CTD Down/Up Cast
G Non-taxonomic biological characteristic uncertainty
H Extrapolated value
I Taxonomic flag for single species (sp.)
K Improbable value - unknown quality control source
L Improbable value - originator's quality control
M Improbable value - BODC quality control
N Null value
O Improbable value - user quality control
P Trace/calm
Q Indeterminate
R Replacement value
S Estimated value
T Interpolated value
U Uncalibrated
W Control value
X Excessive difference

SeaDataNet Quality Control Flags

The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:

Flag Description
0 no quality control
1 good value
2 probably good value
3 probably bad value
4 bad value
5 changed value
6 value below detection
7 value in excess
8 interpolated value
9 missing value
A value phenomenon uncertain
B nominal value
Q value below limit of quantification