Our group has designed, sourced and constructed a radiosonde/ground-station pair using inexpensive opensource
hardware. Based on the Arduino platform, the easy to build radiosonde allows the atmospheric science
community to test and deploy instrumentation packages that can be fully customized to their individual sensing
requirements. This sensing/transmitter package has been successfully deployed on a tethered-balloon, a weather
balloon, a UAV airplane, and is currently being integrated into a UAV quadcopter and a student-built rocket.
In this paper, the system, field measurements and potential applications will be described. As will the science
drivers of having full control and open access to a measurement system in an age when commercial solutions
have become popular but are restrictive in terms of proprietary sensor specifications, “black-box” calibration
operations or data handling routines, etc. The ability to modify and experiment with both the hardware and
software tools is an essential part of the scientific process. Without an understanding of the intrinsic biases or
limitations in your instruments and system, it becomes difficult to improve them or advance the knowledge in
any given field.