SUADA instruments

SUADA is an atmospheric database, which comprises data from several different instruments and datasources - ground-based geodetic permanent GNSS stations, Radiosonde measurements, classical SYNOP meteorological stations, ceilometer observations, as well as data from Numerical Weather Prediction model - WRF. SUADA is focused on providing its users with information about the spatial and temporal distribution of the column Integrated Water Vapour (IWV) in the atmosphere.


The ground-based GNSS network, used for atmospheric analysis in SUADA is preseted in the map above. The network consists of several private & research networks in Bulgaria and South-East Europe. The stations in these networks are permanent geodetic GNSS antennas and receivers, which can be used for monitoring of the movement of the Earth's crust, for Ionosphere observations, as well as for observations of the state of the troposphere, the lowest part of the atmosphere.
The SUADA database includes ground-based Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) observations from:

  1. EUREF post-processed Zenith Total Delay (total 46 368 observations) & Integrated Water Vapour (total 7 796 observations) for station SOFI (04.2001-11.2004)
  2. IGS reprocessed Zenith Total Delay (total 823 919 observations) & Integrated Water Vapour (total 16 619 observations) for station SOFI (1997-2012)
  3. CODE reprocessed Zenith Total Delay (total 411 306 observations) & Integrated Water Vapour (total 74 943 observations) for station SOFI (2001-2010)
  4. Zenith Total Delay data (total 11 473 034 observations) from 29 stations from Zenith-geo company network in Bulgaria (since 11.2011)
  5. Integrated Water Vapour (total 15 297 observations) from 8 stations from IGS network on the Balkan Peninsula (for 19-25 July 2007 heatwave)

SUADA Radiosonde data

The radiosonde is the oldest and to this day only instrument, which measures directly the profiles of meteorological elements in the atmosphere. The radiosonds are launched with a baloon and send the measured atmospheric fields via radio signals. Compared to remote sensing methods radiosounding is benefitial for precise measurements in situ. The largest drawback of this measurement technique is the high cost of a single observation, because the instruments are disposable.
The SUADA database includes Radiosonde observations from:

  1. Radiosonde Integrated Water Vapour data (total 6 376 observations) for station Sofia (1997-2012)

SUADA Ceilometer data

The ceilometer is a relatively new meteorological remote sensing instrument. It consists of a laser, pointed in direction zenith, and a receiver, which registers the reflected signal from the laser outburst. This enables it to measure the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) height and the height of the cloudbase, if clouds present.
The SUADA database includes Ceilometer observations from:

  1. Ceilometer Planetary Boundary Layer height data for 2013 - 203 620 observations.

SUADA classical meteorological in situ observations

The classical meteorological observations in weather stations include, but not conclude measurements of the main meteorological elements: 2m temperature, surface pressure, relative humidity and/or dew point, 10m wind direction and speed, accumulated precipitation for different time periods, etc. There are certain WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) rules and regulations about the position of the meteorological park, which are imposed in order to make meteorological stations more representative for their region.
The meteorological data, included into SUADA is from stations in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland and other coutries. The observation techniques in those countries vary. The observations in Bulgaria are performed manually, every 3 hours, while in Switzerland the observations are automatic and performed every hour. The observations are coded in two different codes: the older SYNOP coding and the newer binary BUFFER coding
The SUADA database includes Radiosonde observations from:

  1. 26 stations in Bulgaria and Europe, 413 669 SYNOP observations

SUADA NWP model simulations

Since 2013 modelled atmospheric data from Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model has been included into the SUADA. The simulations were performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) on the Physon cluster at Faculty of Physiscs.
The SUADA database includes NWP simulations from:

  1. the WRF model for 2010-2013 for 39 stations from Bulgaria - 9 444 090 simulated unique datapoints

Aim of the SUADA project is:

  1. develop a water vapour database of vertically Integrated Water Vapour (IWV),
  2. use the data for meteorologic and climatic studies in Bulgaria/Southeast Europe.