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Met. Office Pilot Balloon Slide Rule MK 5
This is a Mark 5 Pilot Balloon Slide Rule issued in 1970. The printed scales are engraved in the plastic faces. The slide rule has 4 captive cursors (Plexiglas windows and brass guides) that ride in slots on the top and bottom edges. Each can be moved independently of one another. Steel (other models had brass colored) knobs at both ends of the slide facilitate its movement. This rule was used by the Met Office and has a Met Office Stamp and date.
This slide rule does not contain a engraved notation directing the user to see a not on the back of the rule. however the note is engraved on the back of the rule as it is on the MK II, MK IV, and MK IV.A rules. The previous Mark 5 rule reference to the note on the front of the rule, but lacks the actual note on the back of the rule.
A large image showing the scales of the Mark 5 slide rule is also posted. This rule is very similar to the Mark 5 rule and it is manufactured by the same manufacturer however there are some changes in the fiducial marks and the scales are about 1CM longer.
Pilot Balloon Slide Rule, Mark 5
1. General Description
The slide rule is used for computing upper winds from readings of the azimuth and elevation of a pilot balloon at regular intervals. The theory of the method, with other details, is given in Met O 804 (Measurement of Upper Winds by means of Pilot Balloons, Fourth Edition, London, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1968), the quantities involved being as follows:-
E = elevation
The general relations between these quantities, as used in operating the slide rule are:-
h = Kl sin 2E/2m = D tan E
d = (Kl/m )(1/sec2E)
DN = D cos A and DE = D sin A
The Following scale sare incorporated:-
A logarithmic scale on numbers, three time repeated, on
both the upper and lower edges of the slider.
Sine and cosine scales, partly duplicated, on the upper
part of the stock
IMPORTANT. The product of K, the number of graticule divisions per radian and L, the length of the tail in feet, is normally 1.2x105. In other cases adjust the length of the tail so that Kl/1.2x105 = 1
Fiducial marks a b, c and d are engraved on the upper part of the stock, and marks E and ^ on the lower stock, for the conversion of units (see section 3).
2. Standard Procedure
The standard procedure for the computation of winds by the use of pilot balloons and theodolite are described fully in Met O 804. Three methods are described (a) winds by pilot balloon using a fixed rate of ascent (b) using a tail of known length and (c) using two theodolites.
3. Change of Units
The use of fiducial marks in reading values of wind speed directly in knots ar meters per second, etc., is fully described in Met O. 804. When the slide rule is used for other purposes of in a non-standard way, care must be take that the fiducial marks still apply e.g. when using time intervals other than one minute or when performing a radar wind ascent where the ranges are in yards. In these cases other reference points may nave to be found.
Inter-unit conversions may be made using the fiducial marks on the slide rule by directly reading between the marks thus:-
A -> B
converts kts to ft/s
4. Multiplication and division
The additional logarithmic scale in the upper part of the stock permits the rule being used in a limited was as an ordinary slider-rule.
The rule should always be use with care and not handled with soiled or stained fingers. If it is necessary to clean the surface warm soapy water should be used. Abrasives, petrol or solvents must never be used.