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International Standard Atmosphere

U.S. Standard Atmosphere

Standard conditions for temperature and pressure

Sea level


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics


List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations




Density of air














Article Sources and Contributors


Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors


Article Licenses


International Standard Atmosphere

International Standard Atmosphere

The International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) is an atmospheric model of how the pressure, temperature, density,
and viscosity of the Earth's atmosphere change over a wide range of altitudes. It consists of tables of values at
various altitudes, plus some formulae by which those values were derived. The International Organization for
Standardization (ISO), publishes the ISA as an international standard, ISO 2533:1975.[1] Other standards
organizations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United States Government,
publish extensions or subsets of the same atmospheric model under their own standards-making authority.

The ISA model divides the atmosphere into layers with linear temperature distributions.[2] The other values are
computed from basic physical constants and relationships. Thus the standard consists of a table of values at various
altitudes, plus some formulas by which those values were derived. For example, at sea level the standard gives a
pressure of 1013.25 hPa (1 atm) and a temperature of 15 C, and an initial lapse rate of 6.5 C/km (2 C/1,000ft).
The tabulation continues to 11km where the pressure has fallen to 22.632 kPa and the temperature to 56.5 C.
Between 11km and 20km the temperature remains constant.[3] [4]

Layers in the ISA



Geopotential Geometric
Temperature Atmospheric
Height (in C/km)
T (in C)
h (in km)
z (in km)
p (in Pa)
















































|+ Standard Atmosphere 1976

In the above table, geopotential height is calculated from a mathematical model in which the acceleration due to
gravity is assumed constant. Geometric height results from the (more accurate) assumption that gravity obeys an
inverse square law.
The ISA model is based on average conditions at mid latitudes, as determined by ISO's TC 20/SC 6 technical
committee. It has been revised from time to time since the middle of the 20th century.

International Standard Atmosphere

ICAO Standard Atmosphere

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published their "ICAO Standard Atmosphere" as Doc
7488-CD in 1993. It has the same model as the ISA, but extends the altitude coverage to 80 kilometres (262,500
The ICAO Standard Atmosphere does not contain water vapour
Some of the values defined by ICAO are:

ICAO Standard Atmosphere

Height km & ft

Temperature C

Pressure hPa

Lapse Rate C/1000ft

0km MSL



1.98 (Tropospheric)

11km 36,000ft



0.00 (Stratospheric)

20km 65,000ft



1.00 (Stratospheric)

32km 105,000ft 44.5


As this is a Standard, you will not always encounter these conditions outside of a laboratory, but many Aviation
standards and flying rules are based on this, altimetry being a major one. The standard is very useful in Meteorology
for comparing against actual values.

Other standard atmospheres

The U.S. Standard Atmosphere is a set of models that define values for atmospheric temperature, density, pressure
and other properties over a wide range of altitudes. The first model, based on an existing international standard, was
published in 1958 by the U.S. Committee on Extension to the Standard Atmosphere,[6] and was updated in 1962,[7]
1966,[8] and 1976.[9] The U.S. Standard Atmosphere, International Standard Atmosphere and WMO (World
Meteorological Organization) standard atmospheres are the same as the ISO International Standard Atmosphere for
altitudes up to 32km.[10] [11]
NRLMSISE-00 is an empirical, global model of the Earth's atmosphere from ground to space. It models the
temperatures and densities of the atmosphere's components. A primary use of this model is to aid predictions of
satellite orbital decay due to atmospheric drag.
The standard conditions for temperature and pressure are a model of gas temperature and pressure used in chemistry.

[1] International Organization for Standardization, Standard Atmosphere (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ en/ CatalogueDetailPage.
CatalogueDetail?CSNUMBER=7472& ICS1=49& ICS2=20& ICS3=), ISO 2533:1975, 1975.
[2] Gyatt, Graham (2006-01-14): "The Standard Atmosphere" (http:/ / www. atmosculator. com/ The Standard Atmosphere. html). A
mathematical model of the 1976 U.S. Standard Atmosphere.
[3] Auld, D.J.; Srinivas, K. (2008). "Properties of the Atmosphere" (http:/ / www. aeromech. usyd. edu. au/ aero/ atmosphere/ ). . Retrieved
[4] Batchelor, G. K., An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1967.
[5] International Civil Aviation Organization, Manual of the ICAO Standard Atmosphere (extended to 80 kilometres (262 500 feet)), Doc
7488-CD, Third Edition, 1993, ISBN 92-9194-004-6.
[6] U.S. Extension to the ICAO Standard Atmosphere, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1958
[7] U.S. Standard Atmosphere, 1962, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1962
[8] U.S. Standard Atmosphere Supplements, 1966, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1966
[9] U.S. Standard Atmosphere (http:/ / ntrs. nasa. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi. ntrs. nasa. gov/ 19770009539_1977009539. pdf), 1976, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1976 (Linked file is 17 MB)
[10] NASA, "U.S. Standard Atmosphere 1976" (http:/ / modelweb. gsfc. nasa. gov/ atmos/ us_standard. html)

International Standard Atmosphere

[11] Tomasi, C.; Vitake, V.; De Santis, L.V. (1998). "Relative optical mass functions for air, water vapour, ozone and nitrogen dioxide in
atmospheric models presenting different latitudinal and seasonal conditions" (http:/ / www. springerlink. com/ index/ Q4V134P888772M26.
pdf). Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics 65 (1): 1130. Bibcode1998MAP....65...11T. doi:10.1007/BF01030266. . Retrieved 2007-12-31.
"the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) Standard Atmosphere, 1972. This model is identical to the present Standard
Atmospheres of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and WMO (World Meteorological Organization) up to a height of 32 km".

Davies, Mark (2003). The Standard Handbook for Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineers. New York:
McGraw-Hill. ISBN0071362290.
NASA JPL Reference Notes (
ICAO, Manual of the ICAO Standard Atmosphere (extended to 80 kilometres (262 500 feet)), Doc 7488-CD,
Third Edition, 1993, ISBN 92-9194-004-6.

External links
NewByte standard atmosphere calculator and speed converter (
ICAO atmosphere calculator (
ICAO Standards (

U.S. Standard Atmosphere

The U.S. Standard Atmosphere is a series of models that define values for atmospheric temperature, density,
pressure and other properties over a wide range of altitudes. The first model, based on an existing international
standard, was published in 1958 by the U.S. Committee on Extension to the Standard Atmosphere, and was updated
in 1962, 1966, and 1976.

1962 version
The basic assumptions made for the 1962 version were:[1]
air is a clean, dry, perfect gas mixture (cp/cv = 1.40)
molecular weight to 90 km of 28.9644 (C-12 scale)
principal sea-level constituents are assumed to be:


assigned mean conditions at sea level are as follows :

P = 101325 Pa = 0.1013250 MN/m2 = 2116.22 psf = 14.696 psi

T = 288.15 K = 15 C = 59 F
= 1.225 0 kg/m3 = 0.0764734 lbm/ft3
g = 9.80665 m/s2 = 32.174 1 ft/s2
R = 8.31432 J/mol-K = 1545.31 ft lb/lbmol-R.

U.S. Standard Atmosphere

1976 Version
This is the most recent version and differs from previous versions only above 32km:
Subscript b Height Above Sea Level

Static Pressure














Temperature Lapse Rate











































U.S. Extension to the ICAO Standard Atmosphere, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1958.
U.S. Standard Atmosphere, 1962, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1962.
U.S. Standard Atmosphere Supplements, 1966, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1966.
U.S. Standard Atmosphere [2], 1976, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1976 (Linked file is 17

[1] Tuve, George Lewis; Bolz, Ray E. (1973). CRC handbook of tables for applied engineering science. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
[2] http:/ / ntrs. nasa. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi. ntrs. nasa. gov/ 19770009539_1977009539. pdf

U.S. Standard Atmosphere

External links
NASA GSFC ModelWeb (
A mathematical model of the 1976 U.S. Standard Atmosphere ( Standard
Online 1976 US Standard Atmosphere calculator and table generator (
NewByte standard atmosphere calculator and speed converter (
Calculate 28 properties of 1976 Standard Atmosphere (

Standard conditions for temperature and

In chemistry, standard condition for temperature and pressure (informally abbreviated as STP) are standard sets
of conditions for experimental measurements, to allow comparisons to be made between different sets of data. The
most used standards are those of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), although these are not universally accepted standards. Other
organizations have established a variety of alternative definitions for their standard reference conditions. The current
version of IUPAC's standard is a temperature of 0C (273.15K, 32F) and an absolute pressure of 100kPa (14.504
psi, 0.986 atm),[1] while NIST's version is a temperature of 20C (293.15K, 68F) and an absolute pressure of
101.325kPa (14.696psi, 1 atm). International Standard Metric Conditions for natural gas and similar fluids [2] is
288.15 Kelvin and 101.325 kPa.
In industry and commerce, standard conditions for temperature and pressure are often necessary to define the
standard reference conditions to express the volumes of gases and liquids and related quantities such as the rate of
volumetric flow (the volumes of gases vary significantly with temperature and pressure). However many technical
publications (books, journals, advertisements for equipment and machinery) simply state "standard conditions"
without specifying them, often leading to confusion and errors. Good practice is to incorporate the reference
conditions wherever ambiguity is possible i.e. V(273.15K, 101.325kPa)m3.

Past use
In the last five to six decades, professionals and scientists using the metric system of units defined the standard
reference conditions of temperature and pressure for expressing gas volumes as being 0 C (273.15K; 32.00F) and
101.325kPa (1atm or 760Torr). During those same years, the most commonly used standard reference conditions
for people using the imperial or U.S. customary systems was 60 F (15.56C; 288.71K) and 14.696psi (1atm)
because it was almost universally used by the oil and gas industries worldwide. However, the above two definitions
are no longer the most commonly used in either system of units.

Current use
Many different definitions of standard reference conditions are currently being used by organizations all over the
world. The table below lists a few of them, but there are more. Some of these organizations used other standards in
the past, such as IUPAC which currently defines standard reference conditions as being 0C and 100kPa (1bar) of
pressure rather since 1982, in contrast to their old standard of 0C and 101.325kPa (1atm).[3] Another example is
from the oil industry. While a standard of 60F and 14.696psi was used in the past, the current usage (particularly in

Standard conditions for temperature and pressure

North America) is predominantly of 60F and 14.73psi.

Natural gas companies in Europe and South America have adopted 15C (59F) and 101.325kPa (14.696psi) as
their standard gas volume reference conditions.[4] [5] [6] Also, the International Organization for Standardization
(ISO), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) each have more than one definition of standard reference conditions in their various standards
and regulations.
In Russia, State Standard GOST 2939-63 sets the following standard conditions: 20 C (293.15 K), 760 mmHg
(101325 N/m2) and zero humidity.[7]
The SATP used for presenting chemical thermodynamic properties (such as those published by the National Bureau
of Standards) is standardized at 100kPa (1bar) but the temperature may vary and usually needs to be specified
separately if complete information is desired (see standard state). Some standards are specified at certain humidity

Standard reference conditions in current use


Absolute pressure

Relative humidity

Publishing or establishing entity


% RH





















% RH








U.S. Army Standard Metro




ISO 2314, ISO 3977-2

in Hg

% RH



59 (15c)

29.92 (1013.25 hPa)


IUPAC (present definition)


[10] [11]




ISO 10780,


formerly IUPAC

ISO 13443,











ISO 5011












[25] [26]

[28] [29]


air density = 0.075 lbm/ft. This AMCA standard applies only to air.

FAA, FAA's Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 3

EGIA: Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (of Canada)
SATP: Standard Ambient Temperature and Pressure

Standard conditions for temperature and pressure

International Standard Atmosphere

In aeronautics and fluid dynamics the "International Standard Atmosphere" (ISA) is a specification of pressure,
temperature, density, and speed of sound at each altitude. The International Standard Atmosphere is representative of
atmospheric conditions at mid latitudes. In the USA this information is specified the U.S. Standard Atmosphere
which is identical to the "International Standard Atmosphere" at all altitudes up to 65,000 feet above sea level.

Standard laboratory conditions

Due to the fact that many definitions of standard temperature and pressure differ in temperature significantly from
standard laboratory temperatures (e.g., 0C vs. ~25C), reference is often made to "standard laboratory conditions"
(a term deliberately chosen to be different from the term "standard conditions for temperature and pressure", despite
its semantic near identity when interpreted literally). However, what is a "standard" laboratory temperature and
pressure is inevitably culture-bound, given that different parts of the world differ in climate, altitude and the degree
of use of heat/cooling in the workplace. For example, schools in New South Wales, Australia use 25C at 100kPa
for standard laboratory conditions.[31]
ASTM International has published Standard ASTM E41- Terminology Relating to Conditioning and hundreds of
special conditions for particular materials and test methods. Other standards organizations also have specialized
standard test conditions.

Molar volume of a gas

It is equally as important to indicate the applicable reference conditions of temperature and pressure when stating the
molar volume of a gas[32] as it is when expressing a gas volume or volumetric flow rate. Stating the molar volume of
a gas without indicating the reference conditions of temperature and pressure has no meaning and it can cause
The molar gas volumes can be calculated with an accuracy that is usually sufficient by using the universal gas law
for ideal gases. The usual expression is:

which can be rearranged thus:

where (in SI metric units):

P = the absolute pressure of the gas, in Pa (pascal)
n = amount of substance, in mol
V = the volume of the gas, in m3
T = the absolute temperature of the gas, in K
R = the universal gas law constant of 8.3145 m3Pa/(molK)

or where (in customary USA units):

Standard conditions for temperature and pressure

P = the absolute pressure of the gas, in psi

n = number of moles, in lbmol
V = the volume of the gas, in ft3/lbmol
T = the absolute temperature of the gas absolute, in R
R = the universal gas law constant of 10.7316ft3psi/(lbmolR)

The molar volume of any ideal gas may be calculated at various standard reference conditions as shown below:

V/n = 8.3145 273.15 / 101.325 = 22.414m3/kmol at 0C and 101.325kPa

V/n = 8.3145 273.15 / 100.000 = 22.711m3/kmol at 0C and 100kPa
V/n = 8.3145 298.15 / 101.325 = 24.466m3/kmol at 25C and 101.325kPa
V/n = 8.3145 298.15 / 100.000 = 24.790m3/kmol at 25C and 100kPa
V/n = 10.7316 519.67 / 14.696 = 379.48ft3/lbmol at 60F and 14.696psi (or about 0.8366ft3/gram mole)
V/n = 10.7316 519.67 / 14.730 = 378.61ft3/lbmol at 60F and 14.73psi

The technical literature can be confusing because many authors fail to explain whether they are using the universal
gas law constant R, which applies to any ideal gas, or whether they are using the gas law constant Rs, which only
applies to a specific individual gas. The relationship between the two constants is Rs = R / M, where M is the
molecular weight of the gas.
The US Standard Atmosphere uses 8.31432m3Pa/(molK) as the value of R for all calculations. (See Gas constant)

[1] A. D. McNaught, A. Wilkinson (1997). Compendium of Chemical Terminology, The Gold Book (http:/ / www. iupac. org/ goldbook/ S05910.
pdf) (2nd ed.). Blackwell Science. ISBN0865426848. . "Standard conditions for gases: Temperature, 273.15K [...] and pressure of
105pascals. IUPAC recommends that the former use of the pressure of 1 atm as standard pressure (equivalent to 1.01325 105 Pa) should be
[2] ISO 13443
[3] A. D. McNaught, A. Wilkinson (1997). Compendium of Chemical Terminology, The Gold Book (http:/ / www. iupac. org/ goldbook/ S05921.
pdf) (2nd ed.). Blackwell Science. ISBN0865426848. . "Standard pressure: Chosen value of pressure denoted by po or p. In 1982 IUPAC
recommended the value 105Pa, but prior to 1982 the value 101325 Pa (=1atm) was usually used."
[4] Gassco. "Concepts Standard cubic meter (scm)" (http:/ / www. gassco. no/ sw3138. asp). . Retrieved 2008-07-25. "Scm: The usual
abbreviation for standard cubic metre a cubic metre of gas under a standard condition, defined as an atmospheric pressure of 1.01325bar
and a temperature of 15C. This unit provides a measure for gas volume."
[5] Nord Stream (October 2007). "Status of the Nord Stream pipeline route in the Baltic Sea" (http:/ / www. nord-stream. com/ uploads/ media/
Nord_Stream_Route_Status_ENGLISH. pdf). . Retrieved 2008-07-25. "bcm: Billion Cubic Meter (standard cubic metre a cubic metre of gas
under a standard condition, defined as an atmospheric pressure of 1atm and a temperature of 15C.)"
[6] Metrogas (June 2004). "Natural gas purchase and sale agreement" (http:/ / www. secinfo. com/ dsD7y. 1a. 7. htm). . Retrieved 2008-07-25.
"Natural gas at standard condition shall mean the quantity of natural gas, which at a temperature of fifteen (15) Celsius degrees and a pressure
of 101.325 kilopascals occupies the volume of one (1) cubic meter."
[7] http:/ / www. docload. ru/ standart/ Pages_gost/ 27361. htm
[8] NIST (1989). "NIST Standard Reference Database 7 NIST Electron and Positron Stopping Powers of Materials Database" (http:/ / www.
nist. gov/ srd/ WebGuide/ nist7/ 07_2. htm). . Retrieved 08-07-25. "If you want the program to treat the material as an ideal gas, the density
will be assumed given by M/V, where M is the gram molecular weight of the gas and V is the mol volume of 22414cm3 at standard conditions
(0degC and 1atm)."
[9] ISO (1994). "ISO 10780:1994 : Stationary source emissions - Measurement of velocity and volume flowrate of gas streams in ducts" (http:/ /
www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_tc/ catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=18855).
[10] Robert C. Weast (Editor) (1975). Handbook of Physics and Chemistry (56th ed.). CRC Press. pp.F201F206. ISBN0-87819-455-X.
[11] "Natural gas Standard reference conditions", ISO 13443, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland ISO
Standards Catalogue (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue. htm)
[12] "Extraction, First Treatment and Loading of Liquid & Gaseous Fossil Fuels", Emission Inventory Guidebook B521, Activities 050201 050303, September 1999, European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark Emission Inventory Guidebook (http:/ / reports. eea. eu.
int/ EMEPCORINAIR3/ en/ B521vs3. 1. pdf)

Standard conditions for temperature and pressure

[13] "Electricity and Gas Inspection Act", SOR/86-131 (defines a set of standard conditions for Imperial units and a different set for metric units)
Canadian Laws (http:/ / laws. justice. gc. ca/ en/ E-4/ SOR-86-131/ 95708. html)
[14] "Standards of Performance for New Sources", 40 CFR--Protection of the Environment, Chapter I, Part 60, Section 60.2, 1990 New Source
Performance Standards (http:/ / a257. g. akamaitech. net/ 7/ 257/ 2422/ 08aug20051500/ edocket. access. gpo. gov/ cfr_2005/ julqtr/ pdf/
40cfr60. 2. pdf)
[15] "Design and Uncertainty for a PVTt Gas Flow Standard", Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Vol.108, Number 1, 2003 NIST Journal (http:/ / www. cstl. nist. gov/ div836/ 836. 01/ PDFs/ 2003/ j80wri. pdf)
[16] "National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards", 40 CFR--Protection of the Environment, Chapter I, Part 50, Section
50.3, 1998 National Ambient Air Standards (http:/ / a257. g. akamaitech. net/ 7/ 257/ 2422/ 08aug20051500/ edocket. access. gpo. gov/
cfr_2005/ julqtr/ pdf/ 40cfr50. 3. pdf)
[17] "Table of Chemical Thermodynamic Properties", National Bureau of Standards (NBS), Journal of Physics and Chemical Reference Data,
1982, Vol. 11, Supplement 2.
[18] "Glossary", 2002, Compressed Air and Gas Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA Glossary (http:/ / www. cagi. org/ toolbox/ glossary. htm)
[19] The SI Metric System of Units and SPE Metric Standard (http:/ / www. spe. org/ spe-site/ spe/ spe/ papers/ authors/ Metric_Standard. pdf)
(Notes for Table 2.3, on PDF page 25 of 42 PDF pages, define two different sets of reference conditions, one for the standard cubic foot and
one for the standard cubic meter)
[20] "Air Intake Filters", ISO 5011:2002, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland ISO (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/
en/ prods-services/ ISOstore/ store. html)
[21] "Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases" and "Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia", 29 CFR--Labor, Chapter
XVII--Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Part 1910, Sect. 1910.110 and 1910.111, 1993 Storage/Handling of LPG (http:/ / ecfr.
gpoaccess. gov/ cgi/ t/ text/ text-idx?c=ecfr& sid=f169acd0f57a17565c9984fa0f57d285& rgn=div8& view=text& node=29:5. 1. 1. 1. 8. 8. 33.
10& idno=29)
[22] "Rule 102, Definition of Terms (Standard Conditions)", Amended December 2004, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Los
Angeles, California, USA SCAQMD Rule 102 (http:/ / www. aqmd. gov/ rules/ reg/ reg01/ r102. pdf)
[23] "Annual Statistical Bulletin", 2004, Editor-in-chief: Dr. Omar Ibrahim, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Vienna, Austria
OPEC Statistical Bulletin (http:/ / www. opec. org/ library/ Annual Statistical Bulletin/ pdf/ ASB2004. pdf)
[24] "Natural Gas Annual 2004", DOE/EIA-0131(04), December 2005, U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration,
Washington, D.C., USA Natural Gas Annual 2004 (http:/ / tonto. eia. doe. gov/ FTPROOT/ natgas/ 013104. pdf)
[25] Sierra Bullets L.P.. "Chapter 3 Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Conditions" (http:/ / www. exteriorballistics. com/ ebexplained/ 5th/
31. cfm). Rifle and Handgun Reloading Manual, 5th Edition. ."Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Conditions", Exterior Ballistics Section,
Sierra's "Rifle and Handgun Reloading Manual, 5th Edition", Sedalia, MO, USA
[26] The pressure is specified as 750 mmHg. However, the mmHg is temperature dependant, as mercury expands as temperature goes up. Here
the values for the 0-20C range are given.
[27] "Gas turbines Procurement Part 2: Standard reference conditions and ratings", ISO 3977-2:1997 and "Gas turbines - Acceptance tests",
ISO 2314:1989, Edition 2, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland ISO (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ en/
prods-services/ ISOstore/ store. html)
[28] ANSI/AMCA Standard 210, "Laboratory Methods Of Testing Fans for Aerodynamic Performance Rating", as implied here: http:/ / www.
greenheck. com/ pdf/ centrifugal/ Plug. pdf when accessed on October 17, 2007
[29] The standard is given as 29.92 inHg at an unspecified temperature. This most likely corresponds to a standard pressure of 101.325 kPa,
converted into ~29.921 inHg at 32F)
[30] (http:/ / www. faa. gov/ library/ manuals/ aviation/ pilot_handbook/ media/ PHAK - Chapter 03. pdf)
[31] Peter Gribbon (2001). Excel HSC Chemistry Pocket Book Years 11-12. Pascal Press. ISBN1-74020-303-8.
[32] Fundamental Physical Properties: Molar Volumes (http:/ / physics. nist. gov/ cgi-bin/ cuu/ Results?search_for=volume+ molar) (CODATA
values for ideal gases as listed on a NIST website page)

External links

"Standard conditions for gases" ( from the IUPAC Gold Book.
"Standard pressure" ( from the IUPAC Gold Book.
"STP" ( from the IUPAC Gold Book.
"Standard state" ( from the IUPAC Gold Book.


Sea level


Sea level
Mean sea level (MSL) is a measure of the
average height of the ocean's surface (such
as the halfway point between the mean high
tide and the mean low tide); used as a
standard in reckoning land elevation.[1]
MSL also plays an extremely important role
in aviation, where standard sea level
pressure is used as the measurement datum
of altitude at flight levels.

This marker indicating the sea level is placed on the path from Jerusalem to the
Dead Sea.

To an operator of a tide gauge, MSL means the "still
water level"the level of the sea with motions such as
wind waves averaged outaveraged over a period of
time such that changes in sea level, e.g., due to the
tides, also get averaged out. One measures the values of
MSL in respect to the land. Hence a change in MSL
can result from a real change in sea level, or from a
change in the height of the land on which the tide
gauge operates.
In the UK, mean sea level has been measured at
Newlyn in Cornwall and Liverpool for decades, by tide
gauges to provide Ordnance Datum for the zero metres
height on UK maps.

Sea level measurements from 23 long tide gauge records in

geologically stable environments show a rise of around 200
millimetres (8 inches) during the 20th century (2 mm/year).

Satellite altimeters have been making precise

measurements of sea level since the launch of TOPEX/Poseidon in 1992. A joint mission of NASA and CNES,
TOPEX/Poseidon was followed by Jason-1 in 2001 and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission on the Jason-2
satellite in 2008.

Difficulties in utilization
To extend this definition far from the sea means comparing the local height of the mean sea surface with a "level"
reference surface, or datum, called the geoid. In a state of rest or absence of external forces, the mean sea level
would coincide with this geoid surface, being an equipotential surface of the Earth's gravitational field. In reality,
due to currents, air pressure variations, temperature and salinity variations, etc., this does not occur, not even as a
long term average. The location-dependent, but persistent in time, separation between mean sea level and the geoid
is referred to as (stationary) ocean surface topography. It varies globally in a range of 2 m.

Sea level


Traditionally, one had to process sea-level measurements to take into account the effect of the 228-month Metonic
cycle and the 223-month eclipse cycle on the tides. Mean sea level is not constant over the surface of the Earth. For
instance, mean sea level at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal stands 20cm (7.9in) higher than at the Atlantic end.

Sea level and dry land

Several terms are used to describe the changing relationships between
sea level and dry land. When the term "relative" is used, it means
change relative to a fixed point in the sediment pile. The term
"eustatic" refers to global changes in sea level relative to a fixed point,
such as the centre of the earth, for example as a result of melting
ice-caps. The term "steric" refers to global changes in sea level due to
thermal expansion and salinity variations. The term "isostatic" refers to
changes in the level of the land relative to a fixed point in the earth,
possibly due to thermal buoyancy or tectonic effects; it implies no
change in the volume of water in the oceans. The melting of glaciers at
the end of ice ages is one example of eustatic sea level rise. The
subsidence of land due to the withdrawal of groundwater is an isostatic
cause of relative sea level rise. Paleoclimatologists can track sea level
by examining the rocks deposited along coasts that are very
tectonically stable, like the east coast of North America. Areas like
volcanic islands are experiencing relative sea level rise as a result of
isostatic cooling of the rock which causes the land to sink.

Sea level sign (2/3 of the way up the cliff face)

above Badwater Basin, Death Valley National
Park, USA

On other planets that lack a liquid ocean, planetologists can calculate a

"mean altitude" by averaging the heights of all points on the surface. This altitude, sometimes referred to as a "sea
level", serves equivalently as a reference for the height of planetary features.

Sea level change

Local and eustatic sea level
Local mean sea level (LMSL) is defined as the height of the sea with
respect to a land benchmark, averaged over a period of time (such as a
month or a year) long enough that fluctuations caused by waves and
tides are smoothed out. One must adjust perceived changes in LMSL to
account for vertical movements of the land, which can be of the same
order (mm/yr) as sea level changes. Some land movements occur
because of isostatic adjustment of the mantle to the melting of ice
sheets at the end of the last ice age. The weight of the ice sheet
Water cycles between ocean, atmosphere, and
depresses the underlying land, and when the ice melts away the land
slowly rebounds. Changes in ground-based ice volume also affect local
and regional sea levels by the readjustment of the geoid and true polar wander. Atmospheric pressure, ocean currents
and local ocean temperature changes can affect LMSL as well.
Eustatic change (as opposed to local change) results in an alteration to the global sea levels due to changes in either
the volume of water in the world oceans or net changes in the volume of the ocean basins.[2]

Sea level


Short term and periodic changes

There are many factors which can produce short-term (a few minutes to 14 months) changes in sea level.
Periodic sea level changes
Diurnal and semidiurnal astronomical tides

1224 h P

0.210+ m

Long-period tides
Rotational variations (Chandler wobble)

14 month P

Meteorological and oceanographic fluctuations

Atmospheric pressure

Hours to months

0.7 to 1.3 m

Winds (storm surges)

15 days

Up to 5 m

Evaporation and precipitation (may also follow long-term pattern) Days to weeks
Ocean surface topography (changes in water density and currents) Days to weeks
El Nio/southern oscillation

Up to 1 m

6 mo every 510 yr Up to 0.6 m

Seasonal variations

Seasonal water balance among oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian)

Seasonal variations in slope of water surface
River runoff/floods

2 months


Seasonal water density changes (temperature and salinity)

6 months

0.2 m

Minutes to hours

Up to 2 m

Tsunamis (generate catastrophic long-period waves)


Up to 10 m

Abrupt change in land level


Up to 10 m

Seiches (standing waves)

Long term changes

Various factors affect the volume or mass of
the ocean, leading to long-term changes in
eustatic sea level. The two primary
influences are temperature (because the
volume of water depends on temperature),
and the mass of water locked up on land and
sea as fresh water in rivers, lakes, glaciers,
polar ice caps, and sea ice. Over much
longer geological timescales, changes in the
shape of the oceanic basins and in land/sea
distribution will affect sea level.
Observational and modelling studies of
mass loss from glaciers and ice caps indicate
a contribution to sea-level rise of 0.2 to
0.4mm/yr averaged over the 20th century.

Sea-level changes and relative temperatures

Sea level
Glaciers and ice caps
Each year about 8mm (0.3inch) of water from the entire surface of the oceans falls into the Antarctica and
Greenland ice sheets as snowfall. If no ice returned to the oceans, sea level would drop 8mm every year. To a first
approximation, the same amount of water appeared to return to the ocean in icebergs and from ice melting at the
edges. Scientists previously had estimated which is greater, ice going in or coming out, called the mass balance,
important because it causes changes in global sea level. High-precision gravimetry from satellites in low-noise flight
has since determined Greenland is losing billions of tons per year, in accordance with loss estimates from ground
Ice shelves float on the surface of the sea and, if they melt, to first order they do not change sea level. Likewise, the
melting of the northern polar ice cap which is composed of floating pack ice would not significantly contribute to
rising sea levels. Because they are lower in salinity, however, their melting would cause a very small increase in sea
levels, so small that it is generally neglected.
Scientists previously lacked knowledge of changes in terrestrial storage of water. Surveying of water retention by
soil absorption and by reservoirs outright ("impoundment") at just under the volume of Lake Superior agreed with
a dam-building peak in the 1930s-1970s timespan. Such impoundment masked tens of millimetres of sea level
rise in that span. ( Impact of Artificial Reservoir Water Impoundment on Global Sea Level. B. F. Chao,* Y. H.
Wu, Y. S. Li).
If small glaciers and polar ice caps on the margins of Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula melt, the projected
rise in sea level will be around 0.5 m. Melting of the Greenland ice sheet would produce 7.2 m of sea-level rise,
and melting of the Antarctic ice sheet would produce 61.1 m of sea level rise.[3] The collapse of the grounded
interior reservoir of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would raise sea level by 56 m.[4]
The snowline altitude is the altitude of the lowest elevation interval in which minimum annual snow cover
exceeds 50%. This ranges from about 5,500 metres above sea-level at the equator down to sea level at about 70
N&S latitude, depending on regional temperature amelioration effects. Permafrost then appears at sea level and
extends deeper below sea level polewards.
As most of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets lie above the snowline and/or base of the permafrost zone, they
cannot melt in a timeframe much less than several millennia; therefore it is likely that they will not, through
melting, contribute significantly to sea level rise in the coming century. They can, however, do so through
acceleration in flow and enhanced iceberg calving.
Climate changes during the 20th century are estimated from modelling studies to have led to contributions of
between 0.2 and 0.0mm/yr from Antarctica (the results of increasing precipitation) and 0.0 to 0.1mm/yr from
Greenland (from changes in both precipitation and runoff).
Estimates suggest that Greenland and Antarctica have contributed 0.0 to 0.5mm/yr over the 20th century as a
result of long-term adjustment to the end of the last ice age.
The current rise in sea level observed from tide gauges, of about 1.8mm/yr, is within the estimate range from the
combination of factors above[5] but active research continues in this field. The terrestrial storage term, thought to be
highly uncertain, is no longer positive, and shown to be quite large.


Sea level
Geological influences
At times during Earth's long history, the
configuration of the continents and seafloor
have changed due to plate tectonics. This
affects global sea level by determining the
depths of the ocean basins and how
glacial-interglacial cycles distribute ice
across the Earth.
The depth of the ocean basins is a function
of the age of oceanic lithosphere: as
lithosphere becomes older, it becomes
denser and sinks. Therefore, a configuration
with many small oceanic plates that rapidly
recycle lithosphere will produce shallower
Comparison of two sea level reconstructions during the last 500 Ma. The scale of
ocean basins and (all other things being
change during the last glacial/interglacial transition is indicated with a black bar.
equal) higher sea levels. A configuration
Note that over most of geologic history, long-term average sea level has been
significantly higher than today.
with fewer plates and more cold, dense
oceanic lithosphere, on the other hand, will
result in deeper ocean basins and lower sea levels.
When there were large amounts of continental crust near the poles, the rock record shows unusually low sea levels
during ice ages, because there was lots of polar land mass upon which snow and ice could accumulate. During times
when the land masses clustered around the equator, ice ages had much less effect on sea level.
Over most of geologic time, long-term sea level has been higher than today (see graph above). Only at the
Permian-Triassic boundary ~250 million years ago was long-term sea level lower than today. Long term changes in
sea level are the result of changes in the oceanic crust, with a downward trend expected to continue in the very long
During the glacial/interglacial cycles over the past few million years, sea level has varied by somewhat more than a
hundred metres. This is primarily due to the growth and decay of ice sheets (mostly in the northern hemisphere) with
water evaporated from the sea.
The Mediterranean Basin's gradual growth as the Neotethys basin, begun in the Jurassic, did not suddenly affect
ocean levels. While the Mediterranean was forming during the past 100 million years, the average ocean level was
generally 200 metres above current levels. However, the largest known example of marine flooding was when the
Atlantic breached the Strait of Gibraltar at the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis about 5.2 million years ago. This
restored Mediterranean sea levels at the sudden end of the period when that basin had dried up, apparently due to
geologic forces in the area of the Strait.


Sea level


Long-term causes

Range of

Vertical effect

Change in volume of ocean basins

Plate tectonics and seafloor spreading (plate divergence/convergence) and change in seafloor elevation
(mid-ocean volcanism)



Marine sedimentation


< 0.01mm/yr



Antarctica (the results of increasing precipitation)


-0.2 to

Greenland (from changes in both precipitation and runoff)


0.0 to 0.1mm/yr

Greenland and Antarctica contribution over 20th century


0.0 to 0.5mm/yr

Release of water from earth's interior


Release or accumulation of continental hydrologic reservoirs


Change in mass of ocean water

Melting or accumulation of continental ice
Climate changes during the 20th century

Long-term adjustment to the end of the last ice age

Uplift or subsidence of Earth's surface (Isostasy)

Thermal-isostasy (temperature/density changes in earth's interior)

Local effect

Glacio-isostasy (loading or unloading of ice)

Local effect

Hydro-isostasy (loading or unloading of water)

Local effect

Volcano-isostasy (magmatic extrusions)

Local effect

Sediment-isostasy (deposition and erosion of sediments)

Local effect

< 4mm/yr

Local effect



Tectonic uplift/subsidence
Vertical and horizontal motions of crust (in response to fault motions)
Sediment compaction
Sediment compression into denser matrix (particularly significant in and near river deltas)

Local effect

Loss of interstitial fluids (withdrawal of groundwater or oil)

Local effect

Earthquake-induced vibration

Local effect
Departure from geoid

Shifts in hydrosphere, aesthenosphere, core-mantle interface

Local effect

Shifts in earth's rotation, axis of spin, and precession of equinox


External gravitational changes


Evaporation and precipitation (if due to a long-term pattern)

Local effect


Sea level


Changes through geologic time

Sea level has changed over geologic time. As the graph
shows, sea level today is very near the lowest level ever
attained (the lowest level occurred at the
Permian-Triassic boundary about 250 million years
During the most recent ice age (at its maximum about
20,000 years ago) the world's sea level was about
130m lower than today, due to the large amount of sea
water that had evaporated and been deposited as snow
and ice, mostly in the Laurentide ice sheet. The
majority of this had melted by about 10,000 years ago.
Hundreds of similar glacial cycles have occurred
throughout the Earth's history. Geologists who study
the positions of coastal sediment deposits through time
have noted dozens of similar basinward shifts of
shorelines associated with a later recovery. This results
in sedimentary cycles which in some cases can be
correlated around the world with great confidence. This
relatively new branch of geological science linking
eustatic sea level to sedimentary deposits is called
sequence stratigraphy.

Comparison of two sea level reconstructions during the last 500 Ma.
The scale of change during the last glacial/interglacial transition is
indicated with a black bar. Note that over most of geologic history
long-term average sea level has been significantly higher than today.

The most up-to-date chronology of sea level change

during the Phanerozoic shows the following long term
Gradually rising sea level through the Cambrian
Relatively stable sea level in the Ordovician, with a
Sea level change since the end of the last glacial episode. Changes
displayed in metres.
large drop associated with the end-Ordovician
Relative stability at the lower level during the Silurian
A gradual fall through the Devonian, continuing through the Mississippian to long-term low at the
Mississippian/Pennsylvanian boundary
A gradual rise until the start of the Permian, followed by a gentle decrease lasting until the Mesozoic.

Recent changes
For at least the last 100 years, sea level has been rising at an average rate of about 1.8mm per year.[8] The majority
of this rise can be attributed to the increase in temperature of the sea and the resulting thermal expansion of sea
water. Additional contributions come from water sources on land such as melting snow and glaciers (see global

Using pressure to measure altitude results in two other types of altitude. Distance above true or MSL (mean sea level)
is the next best measurement to absolute. MSL altitude is the distance above where sea level would be if there were
no land. If one knows the elevation of terrain, the distance above the ground is calculated by a simple subtraction.

Sea level
An MSL altitudecalled pressure altitude by pilotsis useful for predicting physiological responses in
unpressurized aircraft (see hypoxia). It also correlates with engine, propeller, and wing performance, which all
decrease in thinner air.
Pilots can estimate height above terrain with an altimeter set to a defined barometric pressure. Generally, the
pressure used to set the altimeter is the barometric pressure that would exist at MSL in the region being flown over.
This pressure is referred to as either QNH or "altimeter" and is transmitted to the pilot by radio from air traffic
control (ATC) or an Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS). Since the terrain elevation is also referenced
to MSL, the pilot can estimate height above ground by subtracting the terrain altitude from the altimeter reading.
Aviation charts are divided into boxes and the maximum terrain altitude from MSL in each box is clearly indicated.
Once above the transition altitude (see below), the altimeter is set to the international standard atmosphere (ISA)
pressure at MSL which is 1013.2 HPa or 29.92 inHg.[10]

Flight level
MSL is useful for aircraft to avoid terrain, but at high enough altitudes, there is no terrain to avoid. Above that level,
pilots are primarily interested in avoiding each other, so adjust their altimeter to standard temperature and pressure
conditions (average sea level pressure and temperature) and disregard actual barometric pressureuntil descending
below transition level. To distinguish from MSL, such altitudes are called flight levels. Standard pilot shorthand is to
express flight level as hundreds of feet, so FL 240 is 24000 feet (7300m). Pilots use the international standard
pressure setting of 1013.25 hPa (29.92 inHg) when referring to Flight Levels. The altitude at which aircraft are
mandated to set their altimeter to flight levels is called "transition altitude". It varies from country to country. For
example in the U.S. it is 18,000 feet, in many European countries it is 3,000 or 5,000 feet.

[1] What is "Mean Sea Level"? (http:/ / www. straightdope. com/ columns/ read/ 148/ what-is-sea-level#1) Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory
[2] "Eustatic sea level" (http:/ / www. glossary. oilfield. slb. com/ Display. cfm?Term=eustatic sea level). Oilfield Glossary. Schlumberger
Limited. . Retrieved 10 June 2011.
[3] "Some physical characteristics of ice on Earth" (http:/ / www. grida. no/ climate/ ipcc_tar/ wg1/ 412. htm#tab113). Climate Change 2001:
The Scientific Basis. .
[4] Geologic Contral on Fast Ice Flow - West Antarctic Ice Sheet (http:/ / www. ldeo. columbia. edu/ ~mstuding/ wais. html). by Michael
Studinger, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
[5] GRID-Arendal. "Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis" (http:/ / www. grida. no/ climate/ ipcc_tar/ wg1/ 428. htm). . Retrieved
[6] Mller, R. Dietmar; et al. (2008-03-07). "Long-Term Sea-Level Fluctuations Driven by Ocean Basin Dynamics". Science 319 (5868):
13571362. doi:10.1126/science.1151540. PMID18323446.
[7] Haq, B. U.; Schutter, SR (2008). "A Chronology of Paleozoic Sea-Level Changes" (http:/ / www. sciencemag. org/ cgi/ content/ full/ 322/
5898/ 64). Science 322 (5898): 648. doi:10.1126/science.1161648. PMID18832639. .
[8] Bruce C. Douglas (1997). "Global Sea Rise: A Redetermination". Surveys in Geophysics 18: 279292. doi:10.1023/A:1006544227856.
[9] Bindoff, N.L.; Willebrand, J.; Artale, V.; Cazenave, A.; Gregory, J.; Gulev, S.; Hanawa, K.; Le Qur, C. et al. (2007). "Observations:
Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level" (http:/ / www. ipcc. ch/ pdf/ assessment-report/ ar4/ wg1/ ar4-wg1-chapter5. pdf). In Solomon, S.;
Qin, D.; Manning, M. et al.. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment
Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press. .
[10] US Federal Aviation Administration, Code of Federal Regulations Sec. 91.121 (http:/ / rgl. faa. gov/ Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/
rgFar. nsf/ 3276afbe72d00920852566c700670189/ da37f1d83828491d852566cf00615210!OpenDocument)


Sea level

External links
Sea Level Rise:Understanding the past - Improving projections for the future (
Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (
Global sea level change: Determination and interpretation (
Environment Protection Agency Sea level rise reports (
Properties of isostasy and eustasy (
Measuring Sea Level from Space (
Rising Tide Video: Scripps Institution of Oceanography (
Sea Levels Online: National Ocean Service (CO-OPS) (

Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

Here is a catalog of Acronyms and abbreviations used in avionics.

ACARS: Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.

ACAS: Airborne Collision Avoidance System.
ACP: Audio Control Panel.
ACS: Audio Control System.
A/D: Analog-to-digital converter.
ADAHRS: Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System.
AD: Air Data
ADC: Air Data Computer.
ADF: Automatic Direction Finder.
ADI: Attitude Director Indicator.
ADIRS: Air Data Inertial Reference System.
ADIRU: Air Data Inertial Reference Unit.
ADM: Air Data Module.
ADS: Either; Automatic Dependant Surveillance or Air Data System.
ADS-A: Automatic Dependant Surveillance /Address.
ADS-B: Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast.
ADSEL: Address Selective.
ADSP: Automatic Dependant Surveillance Panel.
AET: Aircraft Electronics Technician (A NCATT certified technician).
AFCS: Automatic Flight Control System.
AFD: Autopilot Flight Director.
AFDC: Autopilot Flight Director Computer.
AFDS: Autopilot Flight Director System.

AFIS: Either; Automatic Flight Information Service or Airborne Flight Information System.
AGACS: Automatic Ground-Air Communications System, is also known as ATCSS or data link.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

AGC: Automatic Gain Control.

AHC: Attitude Heading Control.
AHRS: Attitude and Heading Reference Systems.
ALC: Automatic Level Control.
ALT: Either; Altimeter or Altitude.
ALT Hold: Altitude Hold Mode.
ALTS: Altitude Select.
AMLCD: Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display.
ANC: Active Noise Cancellation.
ANN: Annunciator- caution warning system normally containing visual and audio alerts to the pilot.
ANR: Active Noise Reduction.
ANT: Antenna.
A/P: Autopilot.
APC: Autopilot Computer.
APS: Autopilot System.
ASD: Aircraft Situation Display.
ASDL: Aeronautical Satellite Data Link.

ASR: Airport Surveillance Radar.

ARINC: Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated (ARINC)
ASU: Avionics Switching Unit.
ATCRBS: Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System.
ATCSS: Air Traffic Control Signaling System.
ATI: Unit of measure for instrument size, a standard 3 cutout is a 3ATI.
ATM: Automated Tailor Machine.
ATT: Attitude.
Avionics: Aviation electronics.
AWG: American Wire Gauge.

B RNAV: Basic Area Navigation.

BARO: Barometric indication, setting or pressure.
BCRS: Back Course.
BDI: Bearing Distance Indicator.
BGAN: Broadcast Global Area Network.

CAI: Caution Annunciator Indicator.

CAT I: Operational performance Category 1.
CAT I Enhanced. Allows for lower minimums than CAT I in some cases to CAT 2 minimums.
CAT II: Operational performance Category II.
CAT IIIa: Operational performance Category IIIa.
CAT IIIb: Operational performance Category IIIb.
CAT IIIc: Operational performance Category IIIc.
CODEC: Coder/Decoder.

CDI: Course Deviation Indicator.

CFIT: Controlled Flight Into Terrain.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

COMM or COM: Communications Receiver.

CNS: Communication, Navigation, Surveillance.
CNS/ATM: Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management.[1]
CPDLC: Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication.
CPS: Cycles Per Second.
CRT: Cathode Ray Tube.
CTAF: Common Traffic Advisory Frequency.
CV/DFDR: Cockpit Voice and Digital Flight Data Recorder.
CVR: Cockpit Voice Recorder.
CWS: Control Wheel Steering.

DA: Drift Angle.

DG: Directional Gyroscope.
DGPS: Differential Global Positioning System.
DH: Decision Height.
DME: Distance Measuring Equipment.

DNC: Direct Noise Canceling.

DP: Departure Procedures.
DSP: Digital Signal Processing.
DUAT: Direct User Access Terminal.
EADI: Electronic Attitude Director Indicator.

EFD: Electronic Flight Display.

EFIS: Electronic Flight Instrument System.
EGPWS: Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System.
EGT: Exhaust Gas Temperature.
EHSI: Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator.
EICAS: Engine Indication Crew Alerting System.
ELT: Emergency Locator Transmitter.
ENC: Electronic Noise Canceling.
ENR: Electronic Noise Reduction.
EPR: Engine Pressure Ratio.
ETOP: Extended Range Twin Engine Operation.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

FADEC: Full Authority Digital Engine Control.

FAT: Free Air Temperature.
FDRS: Flight Data Recorder System.
FDU: Flux Detector Unit.
FF: Fuel Flow.
FIS-B: Flight Information Services- Broadcast.
FLIR: Forward Looking Infra-Red.
FLTA: Forward Looking Terrain Avoidance.
FMS: Flight Management System.
FREQ: Frequency.
FSS: Flight service station
FWS: Flight Warning System.
FYDS: Flight director/ Yaw Damper System.

GCAS: Ground Collision Avoidance System.

GCU: Generator Control Unit.
GDOP: Geometric Dilution Of Precision.
GGS: Global positioning system Ground Station.
GHz: Gigahertz.
GLNS: GPS Landing and Navigation System.
GLNU: GPS Landing and Navigation Unit.
GLONASS: Global Navigation Satellite System.
GLS: GPS Landing System.
GLU: GPS Landing Unit.
GND: Ground.
GNSS: Global Navigation Satellite System.
GMT: Greenwich Mean Time.
GPS: Global Positioning Satellite or Global Positioning System.
GPWC: Ground Proximity Warning Computer.
GPWS: Ground Proximity Warning System.

HDG: Heading.
HDG SEL: Heading Select.
HDOP: Horizontal Dilution Of Precision.
HF: High Frequency.
HHLD: Heading Hold.
HSD: High Speed Data.
HSI: Horizontal Situation Indicator.
HSL: Heading Select.
HUD: Head-Up Display.

HMD: Helmet Mounted Display.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

IAS: Indicated Airspeed.

ID: Identify/Identification or identifier.
IDENT: Identify/Identifier.
IDS: Information Display System or Integrated Display System.
IFE: In-Flight Entertainment.
IFR: Instrument Flight Regulations.
ILS: Instrument Landing System.
IMC: Instrument Meteorological Conditions.
InHg: Inch of Mercury.
IND: Indicator.
INS: Inertial Navigation System
ISA: International Standard Atmosphere.
ISP: Integrated Switching Panel.
ITT: Interstage Turbine Temperature.
IVSI: Instantaneous Vertical Speed Indicator.

LAAS: Local Area Augmentation System.

LADGPS: Local Area Differential GPS.
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display.
LDGPS: Local area Differential Global Positioning Satellite.
LED: Light Emitting Diode.
LMM: Locator Middle Marker.
LOC: Localizer.
LOM: Locator Outer Marker.
LRU: Line Replaceable Unit

MAP: Manifold Absolute Pressure or Missed Approach Point.

MB: Marker Beacon.
MCBF: Mean Cycles Between Failures.
MDA: Minimum Decent Altitude.
MEL: Minimum Equipment List.
MF: Medium Frequency.
MFD: Multi-Function Display.
MFDS: Multi-Function Display System.
MIC: Microphone.
MILSPEC: Military Specification.
MKR: Marker Beacon or Marker.
MLS: Microwave Landing System.
MM: Middle Marker.
MMD: Moving Map Display.

MOA: Military Operations Area.

Mode A: Transponder pulse code reporting.
Mode C: Transponder code and altitude reporting.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

Mode S: Transponder code, altitude, and TCAS reporting.

MSG: Message.
MSP: Modes S Specific Protocol.
MSSS: Mode S Specific Services.
MTBF: Mean Time Between Failures.
MTTF: Mean Time To Failure.

NAS: National Airspace System.

NAV: Navigation receiver.
Navaid: Navigational Aid.
NAVCOMM: Navigation and Communications equipment or receiver.
NAVSTAR-GPS: The formal name for the space-borne or satellite navigation system.
NCATT: National Center for Aircraft Technician Training.
ND: Navigation Display.
NDB: Non-Directional radio Beacon.
NFF: No Fault Found.

NM or NMI: Nautical Mile.

NPA: Non-Precision Approach.

OAT: Outside Air Temperature.
OBS: OmniBearing Selector.
OM: Outer Marker.

PA: Public Adrress System.

P-Code: GPS precision code.
PAPI: Precision Approach Path Indicators.
PAR: Precision Approach Radar.
PD: Profile Descent.
PDOP: Position Dilution Of Precision.
PFD: Primary Flight Display or Primary Flight Director.
PMG: Permanent Magnet Generator.
PND: Primary Navigation Display.
PNR: Passive Noise Reduction.
POS: Position.
PSR: Primary Surveillance Radar.
PTT: Push To Talk.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

RAI: Radio Altimeter Indicator.

RAIM: Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring.
RALT: Radar or Radio Altimeter.
RCR: Reverse Current Relay.
RCVR: Receiver.
RDMI: Radio Distance Magnetic Indicator.
RDP: Radar Data Processing system.
RDR: Radar.
REF: Reference.
REL: Relative.
RF: Radio Frequency.
RFI: Radio Frequency Interference.
RHSM: Reduced Horizontal Separation Minimal.
RLG: Ring Laser Gyroscope.
RLY: Relay.
RMI: Radio Magnetic Indicator.

R-NAV: Area Navigation.

RNG: Range.
RNP: Required Navigation Performance.
ROC: Rate Of Climb.
ROD: Rate Of Descent.
RPM: Revolutions Per Minute.
RTE: Route.
RVR: Runway Visual Range.
RVSM: Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum.
RX: Receiver.

SAT: Static Air Temperature.

SATCOM: Satellite Communication.
SATNAV: Satellite Navigation.
SD: Secure Digital.
SEBI: Securities and Exchange Board of India
SELCAL: Selective Calling
SID: Standard Instrument Departure.
SIU: Satellite Interface Unit.
S: Sensitivity Level.
SMS: Short Messaging Service.
SNR: Signal to Noise Ratio.
SPKR: Speaker.
SQ or SQL: Squelch.
SSCV/DR: Solid State Cockpit Voice/Data Recorder.
SSCVR: Solid State Cockpit Voice Recorder.

SSFDR: Solid State Flight Data Recorder.

SSR: Secondary Surveillance Radar.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

STAR: Standard Terminal Arrival Route.

STARS: Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System.
STC: Supplemental Type Certificate.
STP: Standard Temperature and Pressure.
SUA: Special Use Airspace.

TA: Traffic Advisory (TCAS).

TACAN: Tactical air navigation system.
Tach: Tachometer.
TAD: Terrain Awareness Display.
TAF: Terminal Area Forecast.
TAS: True Airspeed.
TAT: True Air Temperature or Total Air Temperature.
TAWS: Terrain Awareness Warning System.
TBO: Time Before Overhaul or Time Between Overhaul.
TCA: Throttle Control Assembly or Terminal Control Area.

TCAS: Traffic Collision Alert and avoidance System.

TCF: Terrain Clearance Floor.
TCU: TACAN Control Unit.
TDOP: Time Dilution Of Precision.
TDR: Transponder (in some cases).
TERPS: Terminal Instrument Procedures or Terminal EnRoute Procedures.
TFR: Temporary Flight Restrictions.
TFT: Thin Film Transistor.
TGT: Turbine Gas Temperature or Target.
THDG: True Heading.
TIAS: True Indicated Airspeed.
TIS: Traffic Information Service.
TK: Track Angle.
TKE: Track Angle Error.
TLA: Three Letter Acronym.
TOT: Turbine Outlet Temperature.
TR or T/R: Transmitter Receiver or transceiver.
TRACON: Terminal Radar Approach Control.
TRANS: Transmit, Transmission, or Transition.
TRK: Track.
TRP: Mode S Transponder.
TTR: TCAS II Transmitter/Receiver.
TTS: Time to Station.
TVE: Total Vertical Error.
TWDL: Two-Way Data Link, or Terminal Weather Data Link.
TWDR: Terminal Doppler Weather Radar.

TWIP: Terminal Weather Information for Pilots.

TWR: Terminal Weather Radar.
TX: Transmit.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

UART: Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter.

UHF: Ultra-High Frequency.
ULB: Underwater Locator Beacon.
USB: Universal Serial Bus.
UTC: Universal Time Coordinate.

V: Volts or voltage.
VASI: Visual Approach Slope Indicator.
VDL: VHF Data Link.
VDR: VHF Digital Radio.
VFO: Variable Frequency Oscillator.
VFR: Visual Flight Rules.
VG/DG: Vertical Gyroscope/Directional Gyroscope.
VGA: Video Graphics Array.

VHF: Very High Frequency.

V/L: VOR/Localizer.
VMC: Visual meteorological conditions or minimum control speed with critical engine out.
V/NAV: Vertical Navigation.
VNE: never exceed speed.
VNO: maximum structural cruising speed.
VNR: VHF Navigation Receiver.
VOR: VHF Omnidirectional Range and Ranging.
VOR/DME: VOR with Distance Measuring Equipment.
VOR/MB: VOR Marker Beacon.
VORTAC: VOR and TACAN combination.
VOX: Voice Transmission.
VPATH: Vertical Path.
V/R: Voltage Regulator.
V/REF: Reference Velocity.
V/S: Vertical Speed.
VSI: Vertical Speed Indicator.
VSM: Vertical Separation Limit.
VSO: stall speed in landing configuration.
VSWR: Voltage Standing Wave Ratio.
V/TRK: Vertical Track.
VX: speed for best angle of climb.
VY: speed for best rate of climb.


Acronyms and abbreviations in avionics

WAAS: Wide Area Augmentation System.

WD/WINDR: Wind Direction.
WMA: WXR Waveguide Adapter.
WMI: WXR Indicator Mount.
WMS: Wide area Master Station.
WMSC: Weather Message Switching Center.
WMSCR: Weather Message Switching Center Replacement.
WPT: Waypoint.
WRT: WXR Receiver Transmitter.
WX: Weather.
WXR: Weather Radar System.
WYPT: Waypoint.

XCVR: Transceiver.

XFR: Transfer.
XMIT: Transmit.
XMSN: Transmission.
XMTR: Transmitter.
XPDR: Transponder.
XTK: crosstrack.

YD: Yaw Damper.

[1] http:/ / www. icao. int/ icao/ en/ ro/ rio/ execsum. pdf


List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations


List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical

A glossary of abbreviations used in relation to aviation, in alphabetical order.






Airborne Collision Avoidance System


Aircraft Communication and Addressing Reporting System


Airports Council International


Aircraft Condition Monitoring System


Active Clearance Control


Airworthiness Directive


Air Data Computer


Automatic Direction Finder


Attitude Director Indicator


Automatic Dependent Surveillance


German Airports Association


Automatic Flight Control System


Autopilot Flight Director System


Aeronautical Fixed Service




Above ground level


Attitude Heading Reference System


Aeronautical Information Publication


Approach Lighting System


Above Mean Sea Level


Air Navigation Service Provider


Angle of Attack


Air Operator's Certificate


Airport/Aerodrome Operating Minima


Auxiliary Power Unit


airplane (US), aeroplane (ICAO)


Authorization Required


Aeronautical Radio Inc.


Air Route Traffic Control Centers


Association for Scientific Development of Air Traffic Management in Europe


List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations



Airborne Separation Assurance System


Airspeed Indicator


Above sea level


Airspace management


Air Traffic Association


Air Traffic Control


Air Traffic Flow Management


Automatic Terminal Information Service


Air Traffic Management


Strategic Alliance between DLR and NLR on ATM research and development


Aeronautical Telecommunication Network


Airline Transport Pilot Licence


Air Traffic Services




Back Course


Big F Hammer




Civil Aviation Authority


Calibrated airspeed


Controlled Flight Into Terrain


Center of Gravity


Converted Meteorological Visibility


Controller Pilot Data Link Communications


Common Traffic Advisory Frequency


Cockpit Voice Recorder


List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations





Decision Altitude / Height (rel. to THR) See Instrument Landing System


Departure End of Runway


Directional Gyro


German Aerospace Center / Deutsches Zentrum fr Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.


Distance Measuring Equipment


Dead reckoning




Equivalent airspeed


European Aviation Safety Agency


Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor


End of civil evening twilight


Engine Indicator and Crew Alert System


Experimental light-sport aircraft


Emergency Locator Transmitter


Engine Pressure Ratio


Emergency Safe Altitude


Electronic Flight Instrument System


European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment




U.S. Department of Transportations' Federal Aviation Administration


Full Authority Digital Engine Control


Final Approach Fix


Future Air Navigation System


Final Approach Point


Final End Point


Flight Data Recorder (also known as black box)


Flight Information Region


Flight Level


Flight Management Computer (same as FMS)


Flight Management System


Filed Flight Plan


Flight Management Computer


List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations



Flight Safety Foundation


Flight Service Station




Ground-controlled approach


g-Induced Loss of Consciousness, where g is acceleration relevant to the acceleration caused by gravity




Glide Path


Global Positioning System


Ground Proximity Warning System


Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System






Ground Support Equipment







Height Loss


Human Powered Aircraft


Horizontal Situation Indicator


Head-up display




Initial approach fix


Instrument approach procedure


Indicated airspeed


International Air Transport Association


International Civil Aviation Organization


Idle cut-off


Intermediate Approach Fix


International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations


Instrument Flight Rules


Instrument Landing System

List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations



Instrument Meteorological Conditions


Inertial Navigation System


Inertial Reference System


International Standard Atmosphere


Integrated Standby Instrument System




Load Classification Number


Load Classification Group


Live Human Organs


Localizer (ILS)


Lateral Navigation


Line Oriented Flight Training


Land and Marine




Mid-air collision


Missed Approach Point


Manual of Air Traffic Services


Minimum Descent Altitude/Height


Medical Evacuation


Maximum Elevation Figure


Microwave Landing System


Middle Marker


Minimum Obstacle Clearance


Maintenance Repair Overhaul


Manifoil Pressure


Minimum Safe Altitude/ Minimum Sector Altitude


Mean Sea Level


Maximum Take-Off Weight


Maximum Zero-Fuel Weight

List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations



Non-Directional Beacon




Obstacle Clearance Altitude


Obstacle Clearance Height


Outer Marker


Overcome By Events




Procedures for Air Navigation Services Aircraft Operations


Precision Approach Path Indicator


Precision Approach Radar


Procedure Design Gradient


Public Domain Aeronautical Software


Point of Equal Time


Pilot Flying


Precision Final Approach Fix


Pilot Not Flying


Point of Safe Return


Personal Service Unit




the Q-code for: Atmospheric pressure at a/d elevation (or at THR)


the Q-code for: Altimeter sub-scale setting to obtain elevation when on the ground, i.e. altitude above MSL

List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations





Radio Altitude


Rectified Air Speed


Reference Datum Height for ILS


Area navigation


En-route Surveillance Radar


Runway Visual Range


Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum






Single European Sky ATM Research


Significant Meteorological Advisory


Start of Climb at Missed Approach


Standard Instrument Departure






Standard Terminal Arrival Route




Terminal Arrival Area


Tactical Air Navigation


Total Airport Management


True airspeed


Terminal Approach Radar


Terminal control area


Traffic Collision Avoidance System


Threshold Crossing Height


Terminal Procedures


Temporary Flight Restriction


Runway Threshold


Top of Descent


Take-off/go around


Take-off Run Available


Take-off weight

List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations



Take-off warning system


Turning Point at Missed Approach


Temporary Reserved Airspace


Terminal Radar Approach Control


Total Time Air Frame


Total Time Since New


Total Time Since Overhaul








Unmanned Air Vehicle


Ultra High Frequency


Upper Information Region


Universal Coordinated Time


V speeds



Visual Approach Slope Indicator


Visual Descent Point


Visual flight rules


Very High Frequency


Visual meteorological conditions


Vertical Navigation


VHF omnidirectional range

List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations





Maneuvering speed


Maximum flaps extended speed


Maximum landing gear extension speed


Maximum landing gear operating speed


Maximum operating speed


Never-exceed speed


Normal operating speed limit


stall speed


Best angle of climb speed


Best rate of climb speed




Weight-off-Wheels, indicates aircraft is off ground since lift off


Weight-on-Wheels, indicates aircraft is on ground since touch down











Zulu Time (UTC)


Zero-Fuel Weight

Aerospace acronyms [4] Terms and Glossary
Aviada Terminaro [5], verkita de Gilbert R. LEDON, 286 pagxoj.

List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations


http:/ / www. asda. aero/

http:/ / www. at-one. aero/
http:/ / www. dlr. de/ en/
http:/ / www. aerospace-technology. com/ acronyms
http:/ / katalogo. uea. org/ katalogo. php?inf=6715

Avionics derives from "aviation" and "electronics". It comprises electronic systems for use on aircraft, artificial
satellites and spacecraft, comprising communications, navigation and the display and management of multiple
systems. It also includes the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles, these can be as
simple as a search light for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an Airborne Early
Warning platform.

The term avionics is believed to have been coined by journalist Philip J. Klass.[1] Avionics was pioneered in the
1970s, driven by military need rather than civil airliner development. Military aircraft had become flying sensor
platforms, and making large amounts of electronic equipment work together had become the new challenge. Today,
avionics as used in military aircraft almost always forms the biggest part of any development budget. Aircraft like
the F-15E and the now retired F-14 have roughly 80 percent of their budget spent on avionics. Most modern
helicopters now have budget splits of 60/40 in favour of avionics.
The civilian market has also seen a growth in cost of avionics. Flight control systems (fly-by-wire) and new
navigation needs brought on by tighter airspaces, have pushed up development costs. The major change has been the
recent boom in consumer flying. As more people begin to use planes as their primary method of transportation, more
elaborate methods of controlling aircraft safely in these high restrictive airspaces have been invented.

Main categories
Aircraft avionics
The cockpit of an aircraft is a major location for avionic equipment, including control, monitoring, communication,
navigation, weather, and anti-collision systems. The majority of aircraft power their avionics using 14 or 28 volt DC
electrical systems; however, larger, more sophisticated aircraft (such as airliners or military combat aircraft) have
AC systems operating at 400Hz and 115 volt rather than the more common 50 and 60Hz of North American home
electrical devices.[2] There are several major vendors of flight avionics, including Honeywell (which now owns
Bendix/King, Baker Electronics, Allied Signal, etc.), Rockwell Collins, Thales Group, Garmin, Avidyne
Corporation, and Narco Avionics.
Communications connect the flight deck to the ground and the flight deck to the passengers. On-board
communications are provided by public address systems and aircraft intercoms.
The VHF aviation communication system works on the airband of 118.000MHz to 136.975MHz. Each channel is
spaced from the adjacent ones by 8.33kHz. VHF is also used for line of sight communication such as
aircraft-to-aircraft and aircraft-to-ATC. Amplitude Modulation (AM) is used, and the conversation is performed in
simplex mode. Aircraft communication can also take place using HF (especially for trans-oceanic flights) or satellite


Navigation is the determination of position and direction on or above the surface of the Earth. Avionics can use
satellite-based systems (such as GPS and WAAS), ground-based systems (such as VOR or LORAN), or any
combination thereof. Older avionics required a pilot or navigator to plot the intersection of signals on a paper map to
determine an aircraft's location; modern systems calculate the position automatically and display it to the flight crew
on moving map displays.
Glass cockpits started to come into being with the Gulfstream G-IV private jet in 1985. Display systems provide
sensor data that allows the aircraft to fly safely. Much information that previously was displayed on mechanical
gauges now appears on electronic displays in newer aircraft.
Aircraft flight control systems
Airplanes and helicopters have means of automatically controlling flight. They reduce pilot workload at important
times (like during landing, or in hover), and they make these actions safer by 'removing' pilot error. The first simple
auto-pilots were used to control heading and altitude and had limited authority on things like thrust and flight control
surfaces. In helicopters, auto stabilization was used in a similar way. The old systems were electromechanical in
nature until very recently.
The advent of fly by wire and electro-actuated flight surfaces (rather than the traditional hydraulic) has increased
safety. As with displays and instruments, critical devices which were electro-mechanical had a finite life. With safety
critical systems, the software is very strictly tested.
Collision-avoidance systems
To supplement air traffic control, most large transport aircraft and many smaller ones use a TCAS (Traffic Alert and
Collision Avoidance System), which can detect the location of nearby aircraft, and provide instructions for avoiding
a midair collision. Smaller aircraft may use simpler traffic alerting systems such as TPAS, which are passive (they
do not actively interrogate the transponders of other aircraft) and do not provide advisories for conflict resolution.
To help avoid collision with terrain (CFIT), aircraft use systems such as ground-proximity warning systems
(GPWS), which use radar altimeters as a key element. One of the major weaknesses of GPWS is the lack of
"look-ahead" information, because it only provides altitude above terrain "look-down". In order to overcome this
weakness, modern aircraft use the Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS).
Weather systems
Weather systems such as weather radar (typically Arinc 708 on commercial aircraft) and lightning detectors are
important for aircraft flying at night or in instrument meteorological conditions, where it is not possible for pilots to
see the weather ahead. Heavy precipitation (as sensed by radar) or severe turbulence (as sensed by lightning activity)
are both indications of strong convective activity and severe turbulence, and weather systems allow pilots to deviate
around these areas.
Lightning detectors like the Stormscope or Strikefinder have become inexpensive enough that they are practical for
light aircraft. In addition to radar and lightning detection, observations and extended radar pictures (such as
NEXRAD) are now available through satellite data connections, allowing pilots to see weather conditions far beyond
the range of their own in-flight systems. Modern displays allow weather information to be integrated with moving
maps, terrain, traffic, etc. onto a single screen, greatly simplifying navigation.


Aircraft management systems
There has been a progression towards centralized control of the multiple complex systems fitted to aircraft, including
engine monitoring and management. Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) are integrated with aircraft
management computers to give maintainers early warnings of parts that will need replacement.
The Integrated Modular Avionics concept proposes an integrated architecture with application software portable
across an assembly of common hardware modules. It has been used in fourth generation jet fighters and the latest
generation of airliners.

Mission or tactical avionics

Military aircraft have been designed either to deliver a weapon or to be the eyes and ears of other weapon systems.
The vast array of sensors available to the military is used for whatever tactical means required. As with aircraft
management, the bigger sensor platforms (like the E-3D, JSTARS, ASTOR, Nimrod MRA4, Merlin HM Mk 1) have
mission management computers.
Police and EMS aircraft also carry sophisticated tactical sensors.
Military communications
While aircraft communications provide the backbone for safe flight, the tactical systems are designed to withstand
the rigours of the battle field. UHF, VHF Tactical (30-88MHz) and SatCom systems combined with ECCM
methods, and cryptography secure the communications. Data links like Link 11, 16, 22 and BOWMAN, JTRS and
even TETRA provide the means of transmitting data (such as images, targeting information etc.).
Airborne radar was one of the first tactical sensors. The benefit of altitude providing range has meant a significant
focus on airborne radar technologies. Radars include Airborne Early Warning (AEW), Anti-Submarine Warfare
(ASW), and even Weather radar (Arinc 708) and ground tracking/proximity radar.
The military uses radar in fast jets to help pilots fly at low levels. While the civil market has had weather radar for a
while, there are strict rules about using it to navigate the aircraft.
Dipping sonar fitted to a range of military helicopters allows the helicopter to protect shipping assets from
submarines or surface threats. Maritime support aircraft can drop active and passive sonar devices (Sonobuoys) and
these are also used to determine the location of hostile submarines.
Electro-optic systems include Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), and Passive Infrared Devices (PIDS). These are all
used to provide imagery to crews. This imagery is used for everything from Search and Rescue through to acquiring
better resolution on a target.


Electronic support measures and defensive aids are used extensively to gather information about threats or possible
threats. They can be used to launch devices (in some cases automatically) to counter direct threats against the
aircraft. They are also used to determine the state of a threat and identify it.

Aircraft Networks
The avionics systems in military, commercial and advanced models of civilian aircraft are interconnected using an
avionics databus. Common avionics databus protocols, with their primary application, include:
Aircraft Data Network (ADN): Ethernet derivative for Commercial Aircraft
Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX): Specific implementation of ARINC 664 (ADN) for
Commercial Aircraft
ARINC 429: Generic Medium-Speed Data Sharing for Private and Commercial Aircraft
ARINC 664: See ADN above
ARINC 629: Commercial Aircraft (Boeing 777)
ARINC 708: Weather Radar for Commercial Aircraft
ARINC 717: Flight Data Recorder for Commercial Aircraft
IEEE 1394b: Military Aircraft
MIL-STD-1553: Military Aircraft
MIL-STD-1760: Military Aircraft
TTP - Time-Triggered Protocol: Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A380, Fly-By-Wire Actuation Platforms from
Parker Aerospace
TTEthernet - Time-Triggered Ethernet: NASA Orion Spacecraft

Disaster Relief and Air Ambulance

Disaster Relief and EMS aircraft (mostly helicopters) are now a significant market. Military aircraft are often now
built with a role available to assist in civil obedience. Disaster Relief helicopters are almost always fitted with
video/FLIR systems to allow them to monitor and co-ordinate realtime relief efforts. They can also be fitted with
searchlights and loudspeakers.
EMS and Disaster Relief helicopters will be required to fly in unpleasant conditions, this may require more aircraft
sensors, some of which were until recently considered purely for military aircraft.

[1] Shaffer, Robert. "'Unexplained Cases'Only If You Ignore All Explanations", Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 2011, page 58
[2] 400 Hz Electrical Systems (http:/ / www. aerospaceweb. org/ question/ electronics/ q0219. shtml)

Avionics: Development and Implementation by Cary R. Spitzer (Hardcover - Dec 15, 2006)
Principles of Avionics, 4th Edition by Albert Helfrick, Len Buckwalter, and Avionics Communications Inc.
(Paperback - Jul 1, 2007)
Avionics Training: Systems, Installation, and Troubleshooting by Len Buckwalter (Paperback - Jun 30, 2005)




External links

The Avionic Systems Standardisation Committee (

Space Shuttle Avionics (
Aviation Today Avionics magazine (
RAES Avionics homepage (
Vertical Gyroscope Avionics Information (
On-Board Electronics related papers ( (Portuguese)
ISBN 9788536501574 - Book: Eletrnica Embarcada Automotiva (Portuguese)
Repair Factory (

Density of air
The density of air, (Greek: rho) (air density), is the mass per unit volume of Earth's atmosphere, and is a useful
value in aeronautics and other sciences. Air density decreases with increasing altitude, as does air pressure. It also
changes with variances in temperature or humidity. At sea level and at 15C according to ISA (International
Standard Atmosphere), air has a density of approximately 1.22521 kg/m3.

Temperature and pressure
The density of dry air can be calculated using the ideal gas law, expressed as a function of temperature and pressure:

where is the air density, p is absolute pressure, Rspecific is the specific gas constant for dry air, and T is absolute
The specific gas constant for dry air is 287.058 J/(kgK) in SI units, and 53.35 (ftlbf)/(lbmR) in United States
customary and Imperial units.
At IUPAC standard temperature and pressure (0 C and 100 kPa), dry air has a density of 1.2754 kg/m3.
At 20 C and 101.325 kPa, dry air has a density of 1.2041 kg/m3.
At 70 F and 14.696 psia, dry air has a density of 0.074887 lbm/ft3.
The following table illustrates the air density - temperature relationship at 1 atm or 101.325 kPa:

Effect of temperature

Speed of sound

Density of air

Acoustic impedance

c in ms1

in kgm3

Z in Nsm3

























in C

Density of air




























Water vapor
The addition of water vapor to air (making the air humid) reduces the density of the air, which may at first appear
contrary to logic.
This occurs because the molecular mass of water (18 g/mol) is less than the molecular mass of dry air (around 29
g/mol). For any gas, at a given temperature and pressure, the number of molecules present is constant for a particular
volume (see Avogadro's Law). So when water molecules (vapor) are added to a given volume of air, the dry air
molecules must decrease by the same number, to keep the pressure or temperature from increasing. Hence the mass
per unit volume of the gas (its density) decreases.
The density of humid air may be calculated as a mixture of ideal gases. In this case, the partial pressure of water
vapor is known as the vapor pressure. Using this method, error in the density calculation is less than 0.2% in the
range of 10 C to 50 C. The density of humid air is found by:

Density of the humid air (kg/m)
Partial pressure of dry air (Pa)
Specific gas constant for dry air, 287.058 J/(kgK)
Temperature (K)
Pressure of water vapor (Pa)
Specific gas constant for water vapor, 461.495 J/(kgK)
The vapor pressure of water may be calculated from the saturation vapor pressure and relative humidity. It is found

Vapor pressure of water
Relative humidity
Saturation vapor pressure
The saturation vapor pressure of water at any given temperature is the vapor pressure when relative humidity is
100%. A simplification of the regression [1] used to find this, can be formulated as:

This will give a result in mbar (millibar), 1 mbar = 0.001 bar = 0.1kPa = 100 Pa

is found considering partial pressure, resulting in:

Density of air


Where p simply notes the absolute pressure in the observed system.

To calculate the density of air as a
function of altitude, one requires
additional parameters. They are listed
below, along with their values
according to the International Standard
Atmosphere, using the universal gas
constant instead of the specific one:
sea level standard atmospheric
pressure p0 = 101325 Pa
sea level standard temperature T0 =
288.15 K
Earth-surface gravitational
acceleration g = 9.80665 m/s2.
temperature lapse rate L = 0.0065
universal gas constant R = 8.31447

Standard Atmosphere: p0=101325Pa, T0=288.15K,


molar mass of dry air M = 0.0289644 kg/mol

Temperature at altitude h meters above sea level is given by the following formula (only valid inside the

The pressure at altitude h is given by:

Density can then be calculated according to a molar form of the original formula:

where M is molar mass, R is the ideal gas constant, and T is absolute temperature.

[1] Equations - Air Density and Density Altitude (http:/ / wahiduddin. net/ calc/ density_altitude. htm)

Reference manual for air density, density altitude, and grains of water (

External links
Conversions of density units (
Air density and density altitude calculations (



The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 75% of the
atmosphere's mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols.
The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17km (11mi) in the middle latitudes. It is
deeper in the tropical regions, up to 20km (12mi), and shallower near the poles, at 7km (4.3mi) in
summer, and indistinct in winter. The lowest part of the troposphere, where friction with the Earth's
surface influences air flow, is the planetary boundary layer. This layer is typically a few hundred
meters to 2km (1.2mi) deep depending on the landform and time of day. The border between the
troposphere and stratosphere, called the tropopause, is a temperature inversion.[1]
The word troposphere derives from the Greek: tropos for "turning" or "mixing," reflecting the fact
that turbulent mixing plays an important role in the troposphere's structure and behavior. Most of the
phenomena we associate with day-to-day weather occur in the troposphere.[1]

and other
layers. The
layers are
to scale.
surface to
the top of
(50km) is
just under
1% of



Pressure and temperature structure


A view of Earth's troposphere from an airplane.

The chemical composition of the troposphere is

essentially uniform, with the notable exception of water
vapor. The source of water vapor is at the surface
through the processes of evaporation and transpiration.
Furthermore the temperature of the troposphere
decreases with height, and saturation vapor pressure
decreases strongly as temperature drops, so the amount
of water vapor that can exist in the atmosphere
decreases strongly with height. Thus the proportion of
water vapor is normally greatest near the surface and
decreases with height.

The pressure of the atmosphere is maximum at sea
level and decreases with higher altitude. This is
because the atmosphere is very nearly in hydrostatic
equilibrium, so that the pressure is equal to the weight
of air above a given point. The change in pressure with
height, therefore can be equated to the density with this
hydrostatic equation:[2]

Atmospheric circulation shown with three large cells.


gn stands for the standard gravity

stands for density
z stands for height
p stands for pressure
R stands for the gas constant
T stands for temperature in Kelvin
m stands for the molar mass

Since temperature in principle also depends on altitude, one needs a second equation to determine the pressure as a
function of height, as discussed in the next section.*



The temperature of the troposphere generally decreases as altitude increases. The rate at which the temperature
, is called the environmental lapse rate (ELR). The ELR is nothing more the difference in
temperature between the surface and the tropopause divided by the height. The reason for this temperature difference
is the absorption of the sun's energy occurs at the ground which heats the lower levels of the atmosphere, and the
radiation of heat occurs at the top of the atmosphere cooling the earth, this process maintaining the overall heat
balance of the earth.
As parcels of air in the atmosphere rise and fall, they also undergo changes in temperature for reasons described
below. The rate of change of the temperature in the parcel may be less than or more than the ELR. When a parcel of
air rises, it expands, because the pressure is lower at higher altitudes. As the air parcel expands, it pushes on the air
around it, doing work; but generally it does not gain heat in exchange from its environment, because its thermal
conductivity is low (such a process is called adiabatic). Since the parcel does work and gains no heat, it loses energy,
and so its temperature decreases. (The reverse, of course, will be true for a sinking parcel of air.) [1]
Since the heat exchanged

is related to the entropy change


, the equation governing the

temperature as a function of height for a thoroughly mixed atmosphere is

where S is the entropy. The rate at which temperature decreases with height under such conditions is called the
adiabatic lapse rate.
For dry air, which is approximately an ideal gas, we can proceed further. The adiabatic equation for an ideal gas is [3]


is the heat capacity ratio (

=7/5, for air). Combining with the equation for the pressure, one arrives at the


dry adiabatic lapse rate,

If the air contains water vapor, then cooling of the air can cause the water to condense, and the behavior is no longer
that of an ideal gas. If the air is at the saturated vapor pressure, then the rate at which temperature drops with height
is called the saturated adiabatic lapse rate. More generally, the actual rate at which the temperature drops with
altitude is called the environmental lapse rate. In the troposphere, the average environmental lapse rate is a drop of
about 6.5 C for every 1km (1,000 meters) in increased height. [1]
The environmental lapse rate (the actual rate at which temperature drops with height,
to the adiabatic lapse rate (or correspondingly,
adiabatic lapse rate (

) is not usually equal

). If the upper air is warmer than predicted by the

), then when a parcel of air rises and expands, it will arrive at the new height at a

lower temperature than its surroundings. In this case, the air parcel is denser than its surroundings, so it sinks back to
its original height, and the air is stable against being lifted. If, on the contrary, the upper air is cooler than predicted
by the adiabatic lapse rate, then when the air parcel rises to its new height it will have a higher temperature and a
lower density than its surroundings, and will continue to accelerate upward.[1] [2]
Temperatures decrease at middle latitudes from an average of 15C at sea level to about -55C at the top of the
tropopause. At the poles, the troposphere is thinner and the temperature only decreases to -45C, while at the equator
the temperature at the top of the troposphere can reach -75C.


The tropopause is the boundary region between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
Measuring the temperature change with height through the troposphere and the stratosphere identifies the location of
the tropopause. In the troposphere, temperature decreases with altitude. In the stratosphere, however, the temperature
remains constant for a while and then increases with altitude. The region of the atmosphere where the lapse rate
changes from positive (in the troposphere) to negative (in the stratosphere), is defined as the tropopause.[1] Thus, the
tropopause is an inversion layer, and there is little mixing between the two layers of the atmosphere.

Atmospheric levels
There are three "levels" often used by meteorologists to describe the height and vertical range of an atmospheric
event or phenomenon. Each level is roughly defined, and so there can only be approximate definitions of each.

Low level
The lower level of the atmosphere from the surface up to 6,000 to 8,000 feet (1,800 to 2,400 meters) above sea

Mid level
The mid level lies between the lower and upper levels, corresponding to around roughly 6,000 - 25,000 feet (1,800 to
7,600 meters).[6]

Upper level
This is the highest of the three levels. The term applies to the portion of the atmosphere that is above the lower
troposphere, generally 850 hPa and above.[7]

Atmospheric flow
The flow of the atmosphere generally moves in a west to east direction. This however can often become interrupted,
creating a more north to south or south to north flow. These scenarios are often described in meteorology as zonal or
meridional. These terms, however, tend to be used in reference to localised areas of atmosphere (at a synoptic
scale)). A fuller explanation of the flow of atmosphere around the Earth as a whole can be found in the three-cell



Zonal Flow
A zonal flow regime is the meteorological term meaning that the general flow pattern is west to east along the Earth's
latitude lines, with weak shortwaves embedded in the flow.[8] The use of the word "zone" refers to the flow being
along the Earth's latitudinal "zones". This pattern can buckle and thus become a meridional flow.

Meridional flow
When the zonal flow buckles, the atmosphere can flow
in a more longitudinal (or meridional) direction, and
thus the term "meridional flow" arises. Meridional flow
patterns feature strong, amplified troughs and ridges,
with more north-south flow in the general pattern than
west-to-east flow.[9]

Three-cell model
The three cells model attempts to describe the actual
flow of the Earth's atmosphere as a whole. It divides
the Earth into the tropical (Hadley cell), mid latititude
(Ferrel cell), and polar (polar cell) regions, dealing with
energy flow and global circulation. Its fundamental
principle is that of balance - the energy that the Earth
absorbs from the sun each year is equal to that which it
Meridional Flow pattern of October 23, 2003. Note the amplified
troughs and ridges in this 500 hPa height pattern.
loses back into space, but this however is not a balance
precisely maintained in each latitude due to the varying
strength of the sun in each "cell" resulting from the tilt of the Earth's axis in relation to its orbit. It demonstrates that
a pattern emerges to mirror that of the ocean - the tropics do not continue to get warmer because the atmosphere
transports warm air poleward and cold air equatorward, the purpose of which appears to be that of heat and moisture
distribution around the planet.[10]

Synoptic scale observations and concepts

Forcing is a term used by meteorologists to describe the situation where a change or an event in one part of the
atmosphere causes a strengthening change in another part of the atmosphere. It is usually used to describe
connections between upper, middle or lower levels (such as upper-level divergence causing lower level convergence
in cyclone formation), but can sometimes also be used to describe such connections over distance rather than height
alone. In some respects, tele-connections could be considered a type of forcing.

Divergence and Convergence

An area of convergence is one in which the total mass of air is increasing with time, resulting in an increase in
pressure at locations below the convergence level (remember that pressure is just the total weight of air above a
given point in the atmosphere). Divergence is the opposite of convergence - an area where the total mass of air is
decreasing with time, resulting in falling pressure in regions below the area of divergence. Where divergence is
occurring in the upper atmosphere, there will be air coming in to try to balance the net loss of mass (this is called the
principle of mass conservation), and there is a resulting upward motion (positive vertical velocity). Another way to
state this is to say that regions of upper air divergence are conducive to lower level convergence, cyclone formation,


and positive vertical velocity. Therefore, identifying regions of upper air divergence is an important step in
forecasting the formation of a surface low pressure area.



Danielson, Levin, and Abrams, Meteorology, McGraw Hill, 2003

Landau and Lifshitz, Fluid Mechanics, Pergamon, 1979
Landau and Lifshitz, Statistical Physics Part 1, Pergamon, 1980
Kittel and Kroemer, Thermal Physics, Freeman, 1980; chapter 6, problem 11
" - Low Clouds" (http:/ / www. weather. com/ glossary/ l. html). (http:/ / www. weather. com). . Retrieved
"Weatherzone Glossary - Mid Level Cooling" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20061003180230/ http:/ / www. weatherzone. com. au/ misc/
glossary. jsp?letter=M). (http:/ / www. weatherzone. com. au). Archived from the original (http:/ / www. weatherzone.
com. au/ misc/ glossary. jsp?letter=M) on 2006-10-03. . Retrieved 2006-10-12.
"National Weather Service Glossary - Upper level" (http:/ / www. weather. gov/ glossary/ glossary. php?letter=u). National Weather Service
(NOAA) (http:/ / www. weather. gov/ ). . Retrieved 2006-10-11.
"American Meteorological Society Glossary - Zonal Flow" (http:/ / amsglossary. allenpress. com/ glossary/ search?id=zonal-flow1). Allen
Press Inc. (http:/ / www. allenpress. com). June 2000. . Retrieved 2006-10-03.
"American Meteorological Society Glossary - Meridional Flow" (http:/ / amsglossary. allenpress. com/ glossary/
search?id=meridional-flow1). Allen Press Inc. (http:/ / www. allenpress. com). June 2000. . Retrieved 2006-10-03.

[10] "Meteorology - MSN Encarta, "Energy Flow and Global Circulation"" (http:/ / www. webcitation. org/ 5kwbSx0AG).
(http:/ / encarta. msn. com). Archived from the original (http:/ / encarta. msn. com/ encyclopedia_761571037_3/ Meteorology. html#s12) on
2009-10-31. . Retrieved 2006-10-13.

External links
Composition of the Atmosphere (, from the
University of Tennessee Physics dept.
Chemical Reactions in the Atmosphere (
lectures/lec32/lec32.htm) ( Archived (http://www. 2009-10-31)




The tropopause is the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere
and the stratosphere. Going upward from the surface, it is the point
where air ceases to cool with height, and becomes almost completely
dry. More formally, it is the region of the atmosphere where the
environmental lapse rate changes from positive (in the troposphere) to
negative (in the stratosphere). The exact definition used by the World
Meteorological Organization is:
the lowest level at which the lapse rate decreases to 2 C/km or
less, provided that the average lapse rate between this level and
all higher levels within 2 km does not exceed 2 C/km.
The troposphere is the lowest of the Earth's atmospheric layers and is
the layer in which most weather occurs. The troposphere begins at
ground level and ranges in height from an average of 11km (6.8
miles/36,090 feet at the International Standard Atmosphere) at the
poles to 17km (11 miles/58,080 feet) at the equator. It is at its highest
level over the equator and the lowest over the geographical north pole
and south pole. On account of this, the coolest layer in the atmosphere
lies at about 17km over the equator. Due to the variation in starting
height, the tropopause extremes are referred to as the equatorial
tropopause and the polar tropopause.

The tropopause is between the troposphere and

the stratosphere. The layers are not to scale.

Measuring the lapse rate through the troposphere and the stratosphere
identifies the location of the tropopause. In the troposphere, the lapse
rate is, on average, 6.5 C per kilometer in the absence of inversions. In
the stratosphere, however, the temperature increases with altitude.
Alternatively, a dynamic definition of the tropopause is used with
potential vorticity instead of vertical temperature gradient as the
defining variable. There is no universally used threshold: the most
The tropopause lies higher in the tropics than at
common ones are: the tropopause lies at the 2 PVU or 1.5 PVU
the poles.
surface. PVU stands for potential vorticity unit (PVU). This threshold
will be taken as a positive or negative value (e.g. 2 and 2 PVU), giving surfaces located in the northern and
southern hemisphere respectively. To define a global tropopause in this way, the two surfaces arising from the
positive and negative thresholds need to be joined near the equator using another type of surface such as a constant
potential temperature surface.
It is also possible to define the tropopause in terms of chemical composition. For example, the lower stratosphere has
much higher ozone concentrations than the upper troposphere, but much lower water vapor concentrations, so
appropriate cutoffs can be used.
The tropopause is not a "hard" boundary. Vigorous thunderstorms, for example, particularly those of tropical origin,
will overshoot into the lower stratosphere and undergo a brief (hour-order) low-frequency vertical oscillation. Such
oscillation sets up a low-frequency atmospheric gravity wave capable of affecting both atmospheric and oceanic
currents in the region.
Most commercial aircraft are flown below the tropopause or "trop" if at all possible to take advantage of the
troposphere's temperature lapse rate. Jet engines are more efficient at lower temperatures.


External links
The height of the tropopause [1]

[1] http:/ / www-das. uwyo. edu/ ~geerts/ cwx/ notes/ chap01/ tropo. html





The stratosphere (pronounced/strtsfr/) is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just
above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers
higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's
surface, which is cooler higher up and warmer farther down. The border of the troposphere and
stratosphere, the tropopause, is marked by where this inversion begins, which in terms of
atmospheric thermodynamics is the equilibrium level. The stratosphere is situated between about
10km (6mi) and 50km (30mi) altitude above the surface at moderate latitudes, while at the poles it
starts at about 8km (5mi) altitude.

Ozone and temperature

Within this layer, temperature increases as altitude increases (see temperature inversion); the top of
the stratosphere has a temperature of about 270 K (3C or 29.6F), just slightly below the freezing
point of water.[1] The stratosphere is layered in temperature because ozone (O3) here absorbs high
energy UVB and UVC energy waves from the Sun and is broken down into atomic oxygen (O) and
diatomic oxygen (O2). Atomic oxygen is found prevalent in the upper stratosphere due to the
bombardment of UV light and the destruction of both ozone and diatomic oxygen. The mid
stratosphere has less UV light passing through it, O and O2 are able to combine, and is where the
majority of natural ozone is produced. It is when these two forms of oxygen recombine to form
ozone that they release the heat found in the stratosphere. The lower stratosphere receives very low
amounts of UVC, thus atomic oxygen is not found here and ozone is not formed (with heat as the
byproduct). This vertical stratification, with warmer layers above and cooler layers below, makes the
stratosphere dynamically stable: there is no regular convection and associated turbulence in this part
of the atmosphere. The top of the stratosphere is called the stratopause, above which the temperature
decreases with height.
Methane (CH4) while it is not a direct cause of ozone destruction in the stratosphere, does lead to the
formation of compounds that do destroy ozone. Monoatomic oxygen (O), in the upper stratosphere,
reacts with methane (CH4) to form a hydroxyl radical (OH). This hydroxyl radical is then able to
interact with non-soluble compounds like chlorofluorocarbons and UV light break off chlorine
radicals (Cl). These chlorine radicals break off an oxygen atom from the ozone molecule, creating
an oxygen molecule (O2) and a hypochlorite radical (ClO). The hypochlorite radical then reacts with
an atomic oxygen creating another oxygen molecule and another chlorine radical, thereby preventing
the reaction of a monoatomic oxygen with O2 to create natural ozone.

The layers
are to scale:
from Earth's
surface to
the top of
(50km) is
just under
1% of
(click to


Aircraft flight
Commercial airliners typically cruise at altitudes of 912 km (3000039000 ft) in temperate latitudes (in the lower
reaches of the stratosphere).[2] They do this to optimize fuel burn, mostly thanks to the low temperatures encountered
near the tropopause and the low air density that reduces parasitic drag on the airframe. It also allows them to stay
above any hard weather (extreme turbulence).
Because the temperature in the tropopause and lower stratosphere remains constant (or slightly increases) with
increasing altitude, there is very little convective turbulence at these altitudes. Though most of the turbulence at this
altitude is caused by variations in the jet stream and other local wind shears, areas of significant convective activity
(thunderstorms) in the troposphere below may produce convective overshoot.
Although a few gliders have achieved great altitudes in the powerful thermals in thunderstorms, this is dangerous.
Most high altitude flights by gliders use lee waves from mountain ranges and were used to set the current record of
unknown operator: u','unknown operator: u','unknown operator: u',' ().

Circulation and mixing

The stratosphere is a region of intense interactions among radiative, dynamical, and chemical processes, in which
horizontal mixing of gaseous components proceeds much more rapidly than vertical mixing.
An interesting feature of stratospheric circulation is the quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) in the tropical latitudes,
which is driven by gravity waves that are convectively generated in the troposphere. The QBO induces a secondary
circulation that is important for the global stratospheric transport of tracers such as ozone or water vapor.
In northern hemispheric winter, sudden stratospheric warmings can often be observed which are caused by the
absorption of Rossby waves in the stratosphere.

Bacterial life survives in the stratosphere, making it a part of the biosphere.[3] Also, some bird species have been
reported to fly at the lower levels of the stratosphere. On November 29, 1975, a Rppell's Vulture was reportedly
ingested into a jet engine 11552m (37900ft) above the Ivory Coast, and Bar-headed geese routinely overfly Mount
Everest's summit, which is unknown operator: u','unknown operator: u','unknown operator: u',' ().[4] [5]

[1] Seinfeld, J. H., and S. N. Pandis, (2006), Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change 2nd ed, Wiley, New
[2] Altitude of a Commercial Jet (http:/ / hypertextbook. com/ facts/ 2003/ DanielCheng. shtml)
[3] S. Shivaji et al, "Isolation of three novel bacterial strains, Janibacter hoylei sp. nov., Bacillus isronensis sp. nov. and Bacillus aryabhattai sp.
nov. from cryotubes used for collecting air from upper atmosphere.", Int J Syst Evol Microbiol, 2009.
[4] (http:/ / audubonmagazine. org/ birds/ birds0011. html)
[5] Thomas Alerstam, David A. Christie, Astrid Ulfstrand. Bird Migration (http:/ / books. google. ca/ books?id=OQjsL97yyhEC& pg=PA276)
(1990). Page 276.



The stratopause (formerly Mesopeak) is the level of the atmosphere which is the boundary between two layers,
stratosphere and the mesosphere. In the stratosphere the temperature increases with altitude, and the stratopause is
the section where a maximum in the temperature occurs.
This occurs not only on Earth, but on other planets with an atmosphere as well.
On Earth, the stratopause is 50 to 55km high above the Earth's surface. The atmospheric pressure is around 1/1000
of the pressure at sea level.




This article is about the atmospheric mesosphere, for the Earth's mantle see Mesosphere
The mesosphere (pronounced/msosfr/; from the Greek words mesos = middle and sphaira = ball)
is the layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the
thermosphere. In the mesosphere temperature decreases with increasing height. The upper boundary
of the mesosphere is the mesopause, which can be the coldest naturally-occurring place on Earth with
temperatures below 130 K. The exact upper and lower boundaries of the mesosphere vary with
latitude and with season, but the lower boundary of the mesosphere is usually located at heights of
about 50km above the Earth's surface and the mesopause is usually at heights near 100km, except at
middle and high latitudes in summer where it descends to heights of about 85km.
The stratosphere, mesosphere and lowest part of the thermosphere are collectively referred to as the
"middle atmosphere", which spans heights from approximately 10 to 100km. The mesopause, at an
altitude of 8090 km (5056 mi), separates the mesosphere from the thermospherethe
second-outermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere. This is also around the same altitude as the
turbopause, below which different chemical species are well mixed due to turbulent eddies. Above
this level the atmosphere becomes non-uniform; the scale heights of different chemical species differ
by their molecular masses.

Within the mesosphere, temperature decreases with increasing altitude. This is due to decreasing solar
heating and increasing cooling by CO2 radiative emission. The top of the mesosphere, called the
mesopause, is the coldest place on Earth.[1] Temperatures in the upper mesosphere fall as low as 100
C (173K; 148F),[2] varying according to latitude and season.

Dynamical features
The main dynamical features in this region are strong zonal (East-West) winds, atmospheric tides,
internal atmospheric gravity waves (commonly called "gravity waves") and planetary waves. Most of
these tides and waves are excited in the troposphere and lower stratosphere, and propagate upward to
the mesosphere. In the mesosphere, gravity-wave amplitudes can become so large that the waves
become unstable and dissipate. This dissipation deposits momentum into the mesosphere and largely
drives global circulation.

and other
layers. The
layers are
to scale.
surface to
the top of
(50 km or
31mi) is
just under
1% of

Noctilucent clouds are located in the mesosphere. The mesosphere is also the region of the ionosphere known as the
D layer. The D layer is only present during the day, when some ionization occurs with nitric oxide being ionized by
Lyman series-alpha hydrogen radiation. The ionization is so weak that when night falls, and the source of ionization

is removed, the free electron and ion form back into a neutral molecule.
A 5km (3.1mi) deep sodium layer is located between 80105 km (5065 mi). Made of unbound, non-ionized atoms
of sodium, the sodium layer radiates weakly to contribute to the airglow.

The mesosphere lies above the maximum altitude for aircraft and below the minimum altitude for orbital spacecraft.
It has only been accessed through the use of sounding rockets. As a result, it is the most poorly understood part of
the atmosphere. The presence of red sprites and blue jets (electrical discharges or lightning within the lower
mesosphere), noctilucent clouds and density shears within the poorly understood layer are of current scientific

Millions of meteors enter the atmosphere, an average of 40 tons per day.[3] Within the mesosphere most melt or
vaporize as a result of collisions with the gas particles contained there. This results in a higher concentration of iron
and other refractory materials reaching the surface.

[1] IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version: (2006) " mesosphere (http:/ /
goldbook. iupac. org/ M03855. html)".
[2] Mesosphere (http:/ / www. ace. mmu. ac. uk/ eae/ Atmosphere/ Older/ Mesosphere. html), Atmosphere, Climate & Environment Information
ProgGFKDamme (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), , retrieved 2009-07-07
[3] Leinert C.; Gruen E. (1990). "Interplanetary Dust". Physics and Chemistry in Space (R. Schwenn and E. Marsch eds.). Springer-Verlag. pp.

External links
Description with links to other atmospheric topics (



The mesopause is the temperature minimum at the boundary between the mesosphere and the thermosphere
atmospheric regions. Due to the lack of solar heating and very strong radiative cooling from carbon dioxide, the
mesopause is the coldest place on Earth with temperatures as low as -100C (-146F or 173 K).[1] The altitude of the
mesopause for many years was assumed to be at around 85km, but observations to higher altitudes and modeling
studies in the last 10 years have shown that in fact the mesopause consists of two minima - one at about 85km and a
stronger minimum at about 100km.[2]
An interesting feature is that the summer mesopause is cooler than the winter. This is sometimes referred to as the
mesopause anomaly. It is due to a summer-to-winter circulation giving rise to upwelling at the summer pole and
downwelling at the winter. Air rising will expand and cool resulting in a cold summer mesopause and conversely
downwelling air results in compression and associated increase in temperature at the winter mesopause. In the
mesosphere the summer-to-winter circulation is due to gravity wave dissipation, which deposits momentum against
the mean east-west flow, resulting in a small north-south circulation.[3]
In recent years the mesopause has also been the focus for studies on global climate change associated with increases
in CO2. Unlike the troposphere, where greenhouse gases result in the atmosphere heating up, increased CO2 in the
mesosphere acts to cool the atmosphere due to increased radiative emission by CO2. This results in a measurable
effect - the mesopause should become cooler with increased CO2. Observations do show a decrease of temperature
of the mesopause, though the magnitude of this decrease varies and is subject to further study.[4] Modeling studies of
this phenomenon have also been carried out.[5] [6] [7]

[1] International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. "mesosphere". Compendium of Chemical Terminology Internet edition
[2] Xu, Jiyao; Liu, H.-L.; Yuan, W.; Smith, A. K.; Roble, R. G.; Mertens, C. J.; Russell, J. M.; Mlynczak, M. G., "Mesopause structure from
Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics, and Dynamics (TIMED)/Sounding of the Atmosphere Using Broadband Emission
Radiometry (SABER)", Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 112, Issue D9
[3] The Physics of Atmospheres, John Theodore Houghton, section and references therein of The general circulation of the middle atmosphere
[4] Beig, G., Keckhut, P., Lowe, R.P., et al., 2003. Review of mesospheric temperature trends. Rev. Geophys. 41 (4), 1015.
[5] Roble, R.G., Dickinson, R.E., 1989. How will changes in carbon-dioxide and methane modify the mean structure of the mesosphere and
thermosphere? Geophys. Res. Lett. 16 (12), 1441-1444.
[6] Akmaev, R.A., Fomichev, V.I., Zhu, X., 2006. Impact of middle-atmospheric composition changes on greenhouse cooling in the upper
atmosphere. J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys. 68 (17), 1879-1889.
[7] Ingrid Cnossen, Matthew J. Harris, Neil F. Arnold and Erdal Yiit, "Modelled effect of changes in the CO2 concentration on the middle and
upper atmosphere: sensitivity to gravity wave parameterization", Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (accepted October 2008
- in Press)


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Compall, Supachikn, Treesmill, Trevor MacInnis, Tvor, Vegaswikian, VivaEmilyDavies, WereSpielChequers, Who, Wiki-vr, Wimpieke, Yo bizarre, 105 anonymous edits
Avionics Source: Contributors:, A. B., Adambro, AeroPsico, Akerans, Alai, Alan Liefting, Alansohn, AlexR, Alexander
Gieg, Alpha Quadrant (alt), Anapaulasag, Andonic, AndrewHowse, Angela, Apacheeng lead, Arpingstone, Ashencaen, Atlant, Austria2010, Bakanov, Ben Ben, Betacommand, BigglesPiP,
Bobblewik, Book, Borgx, Bubba73, CambridgeBayWeather, Charles Matthews, Chaucerair, Chelmite, Cjthellama, Cleared as filed, Closedmouth, Cnilep, Collabi, Conversion script, Cpswarrior,
David Santos, Dejvid, Dgtsyb, Didi7, DirectEON, Dougreeves, Dpm64, DrWhatIKnow, Dual Freq, Edward, Eskovan, Espoo, Etrmedia, Fixman88, Glenn, Graham87, Grgnaly, Gujjar123, Gurch,
Hadoooookin, Hersfold, Hervegirod, Hooperbloob, Hsridhar, IHTFP, Ian Burnet, IndiWorld, Indon, Interiot, Ismailmountassir, Jakubz, Jdemars1, JoelKatz, Johnson487682, Kahonas,
Kandi111777, Karl Dickman, Kat, Keraunoscopia, Kusunose, Lexor, Lnuss, Lupinelawyer, Mandolinface, Maurreen, Meggar, Michael Hardy, MilborneOne, Mysid, Nanagatao, Necrojesta,
Neurolysis, Nicke L, Nightscream, Nivix, Nuno Tavares, OSP Editor, Ohms law, Oleg Alexandrov, Oltbaba, Omegatron, Orderud, PM800, PTSE, Parallelized, PaulHarder2, Pedro, Piotrus, Pne,
Polarautumn, Pouya, Qinxiaolong, RTissler, Radiojon, Reedy, Remotelysensed, Rich Farmbrough, Ronhjones, Rwwww, SCDBob, Sam Hocevar, Shaddack, SimonP, Skeejay, SmilingBoy,
StuffOfInterest, Suffusion of Yellow, Swetkyz, TastyPoutine, TecCougar, TestPilot, Thubing, TimothyJKeller, Tobias Bergemann, Tony Sidaway, Underpants, Vegaswikian, Ventura,
Vicky.singh092, Vishnuganeshr, Wernher, Whateley23, WikiTorch, Wmwmurray, YSSYguy, Yuriybrisk, Ze miguel, Zjr8, Zundark, 255 anonymous edits
Density of air Source: Contributors: 123Hedgehog456, Adanedhel18, Addihockey10, Ajisukitakahikon, Akamad, Alansohn, AtomBum,
Bantab, Bart133, Beetstra, BenFrantzDale, BobsRC, CosineKitty, DMacks, Dario.Isola, DeadEyeArrow, Dfe6543, Djd sd, Dmanning, Dougweller, Duk, EngZH, GTBacchus, Gene Nygaard,
GeordieMcBain, Glycerinester, Gouranga132, GrooveDog, Hayne, Headbomb, Hike395, Hooperbloob, Hullo exclamation mark, Icseaturtles, Jagexserver012, JimVC3, Jsmith86, Junaid908,
Kaisershatner, Kate, Kristennis19, KyraVixen, Larkuur, Legend, Liragomes, Mad Scientist, ManiacK, Marlucia, Meelar, Mephistophelian, Mereost, Mike Young, Mike411, Mystykmyk,
Nimbusania, Omegatron, One-dimensional Tangent, OpenInfoForAll, Oxinst, Patstuart, Pflatau, Phantomsteve, PhilKnight, Philefou, Pinethicket, Pocketengineer, Pt, Quaeler, Ron E, Rracecarr,
Sandcherry, Sciurin, Shehal, Shoefly, SirBob42, SoWhy, Squintanian, Stan J Klimas, Stephenb, Stewardesses, Storm Rider, SuchitMeshram, Tribolumen, Uncle Dick, Uncle Milty, Wikibob,
Wine Guy, 295 anonymous edits
Troposphere Source: Contributors: 12056, 16@r, 1jorge1, 2D, A little insignificant, After Midnight, Ahoerstemeier, Akkida, Alansohn,
Ama96, Amperrymd, Antandrus, Argo Navis, Art LaPella, Atmoz, AySz88, Az29, Bassbonerocks, Becktim77, Betacommand, Bgrimes8533, BigHairRef, Bluemoose, Bobo192, Bomac,
Bongwarrior, Canthusus, Cflm001, Charles Matthews, Charlesrkiss, Ck lostsword, Clarknova, Closedmouth, Crabula, Cubs197, Czarnick4, DARTH SIDIOUS 2, DVdm, Dadscowgurl4eva,
Daniel Case, DanielCD, Danim, Darth Panda, Denelson83, Denni, Derek Ross, Diurnality, Dmb, Drahcir, Dyork, Dysmorodrepanis, Emerson7, Emmykins1220, Epbr123, Erebus555, Eve Hall,
Evolauxia, Ezhiukas 7, Facts707, Faithtear, Felagund, Fev, FocalPoint, Foobar, Friginator, F, Gene Nygaard, Gilliam, Glenn, Gob Lofa, Gogo Dodo, Guitarman048, Gurch, Heron, Hike395,
Hirzel, Home Row Keysplurge, Hopsyturvy, Husond, Huwr, IGeMiNix, IRP, IW.HG, Iridescent, Isnow, Itai, Ixfd64, J.delanoy, JForget, Jaganath, Jay, Jmcc150, Joeinwap, Joseph Solis in
Australia, Jrbouldin, Kakadinho2210, Keilana, KimDabelsteinPetersen, King of Hearts, Kingpin13, Kjnangre, Kowey, KrAtul, Krich, Kroova, Kyle1278, L Kensington, Looxix, Loren36,
Luckymama58, MONGO, Majorly, Marek69, Mav, Mclamb, Mentifisto, Mikel Ward, Mikenorton, Mikeo, Mintleaf, Miranda, Monkkeey, NHSavage, Neelix, Nick81aku, Nickkid5, Nickshanks,
Nigholith, Oliver Crow, One Salient Oversight, Onevim, Oxymoron83, Peak, Petrb, Pflatau, Pgan002, PierreAbbat, Pinethicket, Pizza Puzzle, Pumpkinpieiscoolman, Q Science, Qwrk, Qxz,
RadioFan, Raymond arritt, Reaper Eternal, Reedy, Rich Farmbrough, Rivertorch, Rlcantwell, Ronhjones, Seba5618, SimonP, Skarebo, SkerHawx, Slightsmile, Snoyes, Squids and Chips, Srikeit,
Sscomp2004, Stephenb, Steven J. Anderson, SupaStarGirl, Svdmolen, Swlenz, Tea maven, The High Fin Sperm Whale, The Rogue Penguin, The Thing That Should Not Be, The way, the truth,
and the light, TheNeon, Tide rolls, TigerShark, TiramiNew, Tlroche, Tomtheman5, Tprosser, TransUtopian, Trumpetband, US Military Marine, Ulric1313, Unschool, Vicarious, Vinsfan368,
Vslashg, Vsmith, Vuong Ngan Ha, Wavelength, WayneConrad, Wikipedian2, William Avery, William M. Connolley, Wolfkeeper, Xaari, Xiglofre, Yilloslime, Youssefsan, Zack wadghiri, ,
495 anonymous edits
Tropopause Source: Contributors: -- April, 1836311903, Ahoerstemeier, Albedo, Amikake3, Andonic, Arbitrary username, Bears16,
Bilboq, Blatantfool, Chrumps, Cometstyles, Darrenphughes, Denni, Donarreiskoffer, Ember of Light, Emperorbma, Evolauxia, Falcon8765, Ferren, Gene Nygaard, Guanaco, HPKogler, Helix84,
Hike395, Home Row Keysplurge, I Like Cheeseburgers, IRP, J.delanoy, Jeff G., John, Kowey, Kukini, ManuelGR, Michael Hardy, Michaeljhymowitz, N2e, NHSavage, NawlinWiki,
NickBush24, Nono64, Ozhiker, Paisan30, Peak, Portalian, Q Science, RTC, Rje, Rugops, Sculptorjones, SimonP, Skew-t, Svdmolen, Teoporta, Tlroche, UninvitedCompany, Wavelength,
WikieWikieWikie, WolfmanSF, ZooFari, Zowie, 108 anonymous edits
Stratosphere Source: Contributors: A little insignificant, ABF, Adashiel, Adziura, Agent Smith (The Matrix), Alexi02, Amazins490,
Ammubhave, Aphexcoil, Az29, Babbamongo, Barcode, Becktim77, Benbest, Blainster, Bloodshedder, Bobo192, Boing! said Zebedee, Bomac, Borgx, Bredk, Breno, Buzzbo, CJ, CST,
Canwetakearide, CharlesC, Ched Davis, Crd721, Crum375, DMacks, Dan6hell66, DennisDaniels, Der Golem, Dfolland, Diego Grez, Doktorrob, Dominicwhiteman, Dragonstaralpha, Dreaded
Eddie, Dreizung, DrunkenSmurf, Dysepsion, E23, El C, Elkman, Epbr123, Equazcion, Evolauxia, Ewrigh22, Ferris37, Fieldday-sunday, FocalPoint, Folantin, Foobar, Fr33kman, GraemeL, Guy
M, Hairy Dude, Hans Dunkelberg, Harold f, Harthacnut, HiEv, HockeyLovingHoser, Holeinu, Home Row Keysplurge, Hondasboy, HorsePunchKid, HotHaus, Hurricane111, Hydrogen Iodide,
Interested2, Iridescent, IronMaidenRocks, Isnow, Ixfd64, J.delanoy, JFreeman, JSpung, Jared, Jfdwolff, Jmcc150, Jordgette, Joseph Solis in Australia, Jparker2589, Kazuaki Shimazaki, Kemiv,


Article Sources and Contributors

Kkmurray, Kowey, KrAtul, Kummi, Leuko, Locks343, Loren36, Lou1986, Martarius, Matdrodes, Matt Borak, Mav, Mdolla1, Megaryuu, Merlot70, MiguelTremblay, MikeRS, Muhends, N5iln,
NHSavage, Nagualdesign, NawlinWiki, NellieBly, Neschek, NewEnglandYankee, Neznanec, Nicholas Sund, Nickshanks, Nsaa, Odie5533, Omegatron, Ovis23, PARA19, PWdiamond, Palica,
Papillow1, Park3r, Pburka, Pdcook, Persian Poet Gal, Phgao, Philip Trueman, Piano non troppo, Pizza Puzzle, Poor Yorick, Portalian, Proofreader77, Q Science, Qtoktok, Rcawsey, RedWolf,
Redux, Reedy, Res2216firestar, RetiredWikipedian789, RexNL, Rightfully in First Place, Rivertorch, RockingwithAFI, Romanskolduns, Rrburke, ShelfSkewed, SimonP, Slightsmile, Slon02,
Sniperrulez, Spencer, Spinachfarm, Spinningspark, Spitfire, Sscomp2004, Staffwaterboy, Stefeyboy, SteinbDJ, Susan118, Svdmolen, Tb, Tbyrnestl, The Cool Kat, The High Fin Sperm Whale,
The Parting Glass, The Rogue Penguin, The Thing That Should Not Be, TheFeds, TheNeon, Thegreatdr, Theo10011, Tide rolls, Tikai, Tinlad, TiramiNew, Tom-, Tomtheman5, Tpbradbury,
Trainspotter, Trampled, TsayMD, Tyw7, UberScienceNerd, Ultraphil, Unschool, Vegaswikian, VictorianMutant, Vsmith, Wdfarmer, Whiskey in the Jar, Wiki alf, William M. Connolley, Willy
smacked into the stratosphere, Wimt, Woohookitty, Xaari, Xcentaur, Yaz, Youssefsan, Yuckfoo, Zowie, 535 anonymous edits
Stratopause Source: Contributors: Adziura, Amikake3, Bears16, Cadillac, Chmee2, Eebster the Great, Egil, Gits (Neo), Grunt, Gu1dry,
Home Row Keysplurge, JeffConrad, Jpgordon, Magnus Manske, Monkeyman, No Guru, O0goodiegoodie0o, Ozhiker, Portalian, Rdsmith4, RexNL, RxS, SimonP, Trainspotter, Viridian,
Xeroatticus, 29 anonymous edits
Mesosphere Source: Contributors: 12kgirres, Aboo612, Academic Challenger, Adashiel, Addshore, Adziura, Ahoerstemeier, Alansohn,
Ammubhave, Antandrus, Anville, Astatine-210, AzaToth, Baa, Becktim77, Betty963, Blotwell, Bomac, Brighterorange, Butros, CUSENZA Mario, Capricorn42, Connormah, CorpITGuy,
DAK4Blizzard, Davecampbell, Dawn Bard, DerHexer, Dividor, DoItAgain, DrGBL, Drewza.Collins, E2eamon, Ellsworth, Elockid, Estevoaei, FocalPoint, Francs2000, Glane23, Gurch, HJ
Mitchell, Hans Dunkelberg, Hellbus, Hojimachong, Home Row Keysplurge, JForget, JTN, Jared Preston, Jeff G., Joseph Solis in Australia, Jusdafax, Keilana, Kittycat95, Kowey, KrAtul,
LilHelpa, Lokosoul, Looxix, Loren36, Luk, MER-C, MONGO, Madhero88, Magister Mathematicae, Martin451, Mav, Michal Nebyla, Mike Rosoft, Minimac, Mintleaf, Moya12125183270,
MrBell, Muhends, Mygerardromance, Nakon, NawlinWiki, Necessary Evil, Noctibus, Omegatron, Opt427, PSv255, Palica, Petwil, Phantomsteve, Philip Trueman, Physchim62, Pinethicket,
Pizza Puzzle, Poppafuze, Portalian, Protargol, Pumpmeup, Radon210, Rahnle, RexNL, Rmo13, Rnt20, Romanskolduns, RoyBoy, Rror, Runewiki777, Sceptre, Shanes, SimonP, Smart Viral,
Smichae, Sniperrulez, Snowolf, Some jerk on the Internet, Speed96er, Spinningspark, Spitfire19, Sscomp2004, Sujeethprince, Svdmolen, Sveerzvsqubeez, Tawker, TehNub, The High Fin Sperm
Whale, The way, the truth, and the light, Tomtheman5, User86654, Varnav, Vsmith, WarthogDemon, Wikid77, Wtgj, 326 anonymous edits
Mesopause Source: Contributors: A More Perfect Onion, Ascnder, AvicAWB, Chango369w, Conqour1, Damian Yerrick, Dividor,
Drscholls, Ettrig, Kr-val, Milnivri, Ozhiker, Portalian, Roarshocker, Rursus, Syrinn, Vaughan Pratt, 31 anonymous edits


Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

Image:Us standard atmosphere model.png Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
3.0 Unported Contributors: Buck Leupitsthlaw
File:Israel Sea Level BW 1.JPG Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: Berthold Werner
File:Recent Sea Level Rise.png Source: License: unknown Contributors: ALE!, Angrense, Dragons flight, El
Grafo, Glenn, Pflatau, Smith609, 1 anonymous edits
Image:BadwaterSL.JPG Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Contributors: Qfl247 (talk). Original
uploader was Qfl247 at en.wikipedia
File:Mass balance atmospheric circulation.png Source: License: Public Domain Contributors:
File:Sea level temp 140ky.gif Source: License: unknown Contributors: Bender235, Emmanuel.boutet, Glenn,
File:Phanerozoic Sea Level.png Source: License: unknown Contributors: Angrense, Ciaurlec, Dragons flight,
Flappiefh, Glenn, Pflatau, Smith609, Teratornis, Zimbres
File:Post-Glacial Sea Level.png Source: License: unknown Contributors: Angrense, Dragons flight, Glenn, Pflatau,
2 anonymous edits
Image:StandardAtmosphere.png Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: None
Image:EarthAtmosphereBig.jpg Source: License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors: KrAtul,
Spinningspark, TheTrojanHought, VMS Mosaic, VoidLurker, 3 anonymous edits
Image:Troposphere CIMG1853.JPG Source: License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors:
Image:AtmosphCirc2.png Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 Generic Contributors:
Image:Meridionalflowpattern.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: NOAA/NCEP
Image:Earth Atmosphere.svg Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Contributors:
KrAtul, converted to SVG by tiZom
Image:Jetcrosssection.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: National Weather Service JetStream. Original
uploader was Thegreatdr at en.wikipedia
File:EarthAtmosphereBig.jpg Source: License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors: KrAtul,
Spinningspark, TheTrojanHought, VMS Mosaic, VoidLurker, 3 anonymous edits



Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
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