The meteorological airplane ascents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Part I. On the technique of meteorological airplane ascents. Part II. Aircraft instruments in meteorological flying
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KeywordAeronautics in meteorology
The aerological flights at Boston are part of the general research program of the Meteorological Division of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which program since 1929 has been directed especially toward the study of American air masses and fronts. Recently, some results of these studies were published by Willett, who based his investigations on a series continuous over three years of mornìng and evening weather maps, analyzed at the Institute, together with upper air soundings from the United States Weather Bureau stations at Dallas, Omaha, Chicago, Groesbeck, Atlanta and from the United States Navy at Seattle, Anacostia, Pensacola and San Diego. These upper air data facilitated the determination of the properties of the air masses and so proved of inestimable value for the study. But the use of the data also showed that improvement both in the number of stations and in the quality of observations was highly desirable. Ascents in the northeastern part of the United States were lacking. Knowledge of the vertical structure of air masses reaching this region, however, is of special interest in forecasting for this densely populated district. For these reasons and since the direct comparison of actual local weather developments with upper air conditions is also con- sidered to be very valuable, the Institute started its own airplane station at Boston. In addition to "regular" ascents at the time of the morning surface observations, special flights were made when particularly interesting weather situations prevailed. On a number of days series of ascents were carried out to obtain cross sections through fronts passing over Boston. Other special flights were made to obtain information on atmospheric turbulence. For this same purpose and also in order to study the diurnal changes of temperature in the lowest 5,000 feet, several series are planned of a number of comparatively low altitude flights at short intervals throughout the day.
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