“Sonde” in French translates as “probe” and “radiosondes” are used worldwide to provide instantaneous snapshots of the atmosphere. In 1593, Galileo invented the thermoscope and in 1643 Torricelli invented the barometer as both inventions investigated the character of the atmosphere. Weatherwise Magazine recently devoted a section to the advancement of the radiosonde. In 1783, Nicolas-Louis Robert and Jacques Alexander Cesar Charles carried the thermometer and barometer over France in one of the first manned balloon flights. In 1892, Gustave Hermite and Georges Besancon performed the first unmanned balloon flights incorporating meteographs. In 1924, Army Signal Corps Colonel William Blair experimented with radio transmissions with a wire attached to a captive balloon at 13,000 feet. He later attached a radio transmitter, providing the first wireless remote upper air measurements.
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