1997-07-01

Surface Acoustic Wave Microhygrometer 972393

ABSTRACT

A microhygrometer has been developed at JPL's Microdevices Laboratory based on the principle of dewpoint/frostpoint detection. The surface acoustic wave device used in this instrument is approximately two orders of magnitude more sensitive to condensation than the optical sensor used in chilled-mirror hygrometers. In tests in the laboratory and on the NASA DC8, the SAW hygrometer has demonstrated more than an order of magnitude faster response than commercial chilled-mirror hygrometers, while showing comparable accuracy under steady-state conditions. Current development efforts are directed toward miniaturization and optimization of the microhygrometer electronics for flight validation experiments on a small radiosonde balloon.

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