As the primary reseller for FLYHT’s TAMDAR™ data, Synoptic is bringing this powerful boundary layer data set to new users and applications worldwide.

What is TAMDAR™?

FLYHT’s TAMDAR™ system is currently equipped on over 200 aircraft worldwide, providing tens of thousands of observations on a daily basis. Using IRIDIUM™ satellite communications, this groundbreaking sensor measures atmospheric conditions during take-off, landing, and cruise phases of a flight, providing invaluable data throughout the atmospheric boundary layer in the form of soundings, which are vertical profiles of temperature and moisture. In addition, TAMDAR™ measures wind speed and wind direction, pressure, ice detection, and turbulence. TAMDAR™ also acts as a flight tracking mechanism that records a GPS position in both time and space with every observation.



 Example TAMDAR™ sounding

Example TAMDAR™ sounding

Since the late 1930s, the gold standard for upper-air data has been the balloon-launched radiosonde. To this day, radiosondes still contribute valuable information, but they are now limited to twice daily launches at 00Z and 12Z at just 92 stations across the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico), leaving large temporal and spatial gaps in data coverage. TAMDAR™ data fills these gaps by placing sensors on commercial aircraft, so that each plane essentially becomes a radiosonde, gathering upper-air data during each portion of the flight (ascent, descent, and cruise). TAMDAR™ soundings are collected every time a plane takes off and lands, which could be 15 or more times a day, yielding thousands of soundings a day. Soundings are collected at every airport that a TAMDAR™ equipped plane flies into or out of, not just at fixed locations like radiosonde launches. In addition, TAMDAR™ measures turbulence and icing, which a radiosonde does not.


TAMDAR™ and AMDAR are similar in that they’re both aircraft-based sensors. However, AMDAR only measures temperature and wind and, on a limited amount of aircraft, relative humidity. Because TAMDAR™ is mainly installed on regional airlines as opposed to large commercial airlines like AMDAR, the number of soundings is exponentially higher as most of these aircraft fly longer routes with only a few or one flight daily.

TAMDAR™ and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)

Numerous joint-collaborative studies between NOAA, NASA, the FAA, and the research community have been conducted on the use and efficacy of TAMDAR™ data in NWP. The vertical resolution for TAMDAR™ is completely adjustable and is pressure-based on ascent and descent and time-based in cruise. This allows for extremely high resolution data in the vertical which is extremely important to NWP modeling, yielding a fully customizable solution allowing greater vertical and temporal frequency than either AMDAR or radiosondes. TAMDAR™ data is delivered in real-time with no ground-based infrastructure needed, and each observation goes through rigorous quality control (both real-time and on the ground) to ensure it meets strict standards.


TAMDAR™ Parameters

Wind (Direction & Speed)
Relative Humidity
Turbulence (EDR)
Pressure Altitude
GPS Altitude
GPS Position

To learn more about FLYHT™, visit their website.

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