One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An instrument carried by balloon or other means to various levels of the atmosphere and transmitting measurements by radio.
- ‘The MMS sounds the atmosphere with a balloon-borne radiosonde, which measures the meteorological parameters of temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction.’
- ‘These problems are sufficiently serious that the US National Weather Service adjusts satellite data every week to match radiosondes, in effect relying upon radiosondes as a reference instrument.’
- ‘They were also used to taking radiosondes into the upper atmosphere to measure temperature, pressure, and humidity.’
- ‘This rate of temperature decrease, the environmental lapse rate, must be measured to be known; this is done routinely by balloons carrying instruments called radiosondes.’
1930s: from radio- (relating to broadcasting) + German Sonde ‘probe’.
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