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We have been launching radiosonde (a meteorological instrument containing GPS and other sensors to measure meteorological variables attached to a balloon filled with Hydrogen) to obtain meteorological data of the atmosphere.

This radiosonde transmits the information to a ground station we have in a frequency close to 400 MHz (well, this is what we uses, not sure about others). We frequently update the vertical height, direction, bearing position etc to our nearest ATC.

I was told that ATC and aircraft get information from the radiosonde directly (I am not sure what sort of information they get) other than what we give to the ATC.

So, I want to know whether ATC/aircraft get information directly from a radiosonde and if they do, what sort of information do they get?

I am not concerned about the radiosonde's meteorological data going into the weather models for forecast products that is available to aviation industry. What I need to know is if ATC/aircraft can know the position of the balloon/radiosonde directly by the information the radiosonde transmits?
In essence, can ATC/aircraft track a radiosonde without inputs from the agency that launches/manages the radiosonde?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you asking about tracking or location information for traffic separation, or metrological information? $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 28 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @JWalters Specifically, tracking/location information, not meteorological info. In general, anything an ATC/aircraft gets from a radiosonde. $\endgroup$ – RogUE Jun 29 at 1:56
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, suggest you edit you question to make that clear since the current answers presume you are asking about weather information. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 29 at 12:26
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No, neither ATC nor aircraft receive any information directly from a radiosonde balloon. However, in many cases the meteorological agency operating the radiosondes does use them to produce forecasts that are made available to ATC and pilots.

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Aircraft and ATC get "weather products" in various formats via communications systems that are standardized worldwide. National authorities build these products (or don't, in some areas) based on thousands of different data points collected over a large area. You can see examples of these products at the US National Weather Service's Aviation Weather Center; your country (you don't say where you are) hopefully has something equivalent, but possibly not freely available to the public or as comprehensive.

Your radiosonde is presumably providing additional data points into your national weather network, which will make their standard weather products in that area more up to date and more accurate. This benefits everyone that uses those weather products, including non-aviation users such as TV and radio stations, without having to know the vagaries of all the different systems (such as your radiosonde) collecting raw data behind the scenes.

ATC probably doesn't care what your balloon is doing per se, just that it's an airborne hazard they need to keep other aircraft away from, and that means they need to know where it is to do their job properly.

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Does your radiosonde have an ADS-B transponder in it? If so, then ATC and aircraft can get location and speed information from it without any other communication links.

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  • $\begingroup$ Asking for clarification must be done in comments, not in answers. You should either ask for the ADS-B on the comments (so that the OP can precise its question) or put in your answer examples of balloon described in the question either fitted or not fitted with transponder. See the help center for more information. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Jun 30 at 8:34

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