FAQ-08: What is state-of-the-art in terms of upper-air RH measurements?

Currently the only balloon borne sounding instruments capable of measuring water vapour in the tropopause region and the stratosphere are the Cryogenic Frostpoint Hygrometer (CFH, and the closely related NOAA frostpoint hygrometer) and Fluorescent Advanced Stratospheric Hygrometer (FLASH). GRUAN encourages the development of new instruments and will allow the use of other sondes capable of measuring stratospheric water vapour as they come online. For middle and upper tropospheric water vapour a number of radiosonde sensors may be used, however, a careful analysis is required and will be done, to remove any systematic biases and to reduce random errors. Several assessments and comparisons are currently under way and will be available in the future.

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