Dropsonde RD41

This proven weather reconnaissance device captures atmospheric profiles from aircraft flight level to surface, vastly improving weather observations.

    Aircraft-Specific Design

    Dropsonde RD41 is used for tropical cyclone reconnaissance and research, data acquisition over oceans as input for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, and to acquire data for meteorological research.

    Designed specifically for aircraft use, it descends through the atmosphere by parachute and measures the profiles of pressure, temperature, and relative humidity, and reads wind direction and speed data from the point of launch to the surface — to give you the data you need for accurate weather predictions and research.

    The RD41 is based on the same Vaisala sensors and unique measurement technology as the RS41 radiosonde, and offers the same renowned stability, high quality, and safety features.

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    Key Features

    The RD41 is designed to obtain atmospheric profiling from aircraft from flight level to surface. The dropsonde is used to:

    • Perform reconnaissance and research, data acquisition over oceans as input for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, and in various field campaigns
    • Measure pressure, temperature, and humidity values, and to read wind direction and speed data from the point of launch to the surface
    • Receive, display, and store data for further use via an Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS) onboard the aircraft


    Built by Vaisala under license from UCAR, the RD41 dropsonde, aircraft data system hardware, and software are designed by the Earth Observing Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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    Receiving System

    Onboard the aircraft, the RD41 Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS), also available from Vaisala, allows you to receive, display, and store meteorological data for further use.

    In-situ data is collected from the sensors and transmitted back in real time to an onboard aircraft data system via radio link.

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