Summit, Greenland Balloon-Borne Ozonesonde Profile Measurment Program

Ozone Sonde
An ozonesonde

Ozone Sonde Receiving Station
Data transmission from the
ozonesonde back to receiving station.

Ozone Profile
Ozone Partial Pressure profile.
Weekly balloon-borne ozone profiles are measured at The Greenland Environmental Observatory (GEOSummit, station code SUM) on the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet: 72.6° North, 38.5° West: 3202 meters above sea level.
Date of Measurements:
February 12, 2005 – current.
Measurement Technique:

An ozonesonde consists of a Teflon air pump and electrochemical ozone sensor interfaced to a meteorological radiosonde The small piston pump bubbles ambient air into the sensor cell containing 3 milliliters of 1% potassium iodide solution. The reaction of ozone and iodide generates an electrical signal proportional to the amount of ozone. The radiosonde measures air temperature, pressure, relative humidity and transmits all of the ozone and weather data back to a ground receiving station during the 2 hour weather balloon ascent.

Total column ozone (given in Dobson Units) is calculated by integrating the ozone partial pressure profile up to the balloon burst altitude and adding a residual amount, based on climatological ozone tables to account for ozone above the balloon burst altitude. These polar ozonesonde profiles provide a detailed vertical measurement of ozone that can be made during low sun angle and dark time periods, when satellite ozone observations are limited. However, the cold, dark winter time will reduce the altitude burst elevation of the rubber weather balloons.

Data files for the Summit ozonesondes can be found at

Ozonesonde Measurement Campaign Participation:


The GEOSummit site was established by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Danish Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland to provide year-round, long-term measurements for monitoring and investigations of the Arctic environment. The facility is operated by CH2M HILL Polar Services (CPS) with guidance from the Science Coordination Office (SCO).
Ozonesonde balloon ready for launch at GEOSummit.