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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout
Major Installation Projects Involving Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout (continued)

Meteorologists required upper winds for their forecasts, initially to about 30,000 feet but later to 100,000 feet for higher flying aircraft and research into high level features such as the jet stream. The earlier pilot balloon flights made by visual observation using a theodolite were inadequate, usually being limited to 20,000 feet in clear weather and much lower heights in cloudy conditions. The gun-laying radar was able to provide regular wind observations to great heights.

Allan Cornish arranged for me to be posted to the Directorate of the RAAF Meteorological Service in Melbourne. I remember walking into the Head Office at No 2 Drummond Street, early in 1946, and meeting a charming lady in the personnel office on the first floor with the name of Roma Lee who walked me around to see Allan Cornish and Bill Brann.

They explained that the accuracy of radiosonde observations was doubtful, because unofficial modifications had been made to the equipment to overcome faults. They explained that my first job was to get the equipment on all stations back to standard. I met Ralph Holmes at this time. He impressed me with his friendly, happy nature which I liked very much. I will always have fond memories of Ralph.

I requested a crash course in meteorology, particularly in radiosonde and radar wind-finding calculations. Max Cassidy gave me this course in Melbourne.

I then introduced a signal generator and linearity equipment to simulate transmissions from airborne radiosondes to test the ground equipment. I carried this with me all over Australia. I checked the sensitivity of the receivers and calibrated the frequency counters and recorders.

Reg Stout at radio laboratory

Reg Stout checking the calibration of a rebuilt radiosonde recorder at the radio laboratory, Frosterley, No 2 Drummond Street, Melbourne, 1948.

People in Bright Sparcs - Brann, Harold Walter Allen Neale (Bill); Cornish, Allan William; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Stout, Reginald William (Reg)

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

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