Tables for calibrating altimeters and computing altitudes based on the standard atmosphere

Brombacher, W G

During 1925 the assumption of an isothermal atmosphere which was in general use as the standard for the calibration of altimeters in the United States was replaced by a standard atmosphere which assumes an altitude-temperature relation closely corresponding to the average of upper air observations at latitude 40 degrees in this country. The same standard atmosphere had already been adopted somewhat earlier in the United States as the aircraft performance standard. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Technical Reports nos. 147 and 218 give necessary constants, tables, and information. However, neither of these reports includes all of the tables required for the computation of actual altitudes nor those readily suitable for use in calibrating altimeters, since the altitude intervals for which data are given are not sufficiently small. The present report has been prepared specifically for these purposes. The formulas which define the standard atmosphere are given in this report, together with other formulas giving the corrections to be applied to the standard altitude in order to obtain the actual altitude when the necessary observations of pressure and temperature are available. The tables necessary for the use of this standard atmosphere in calibrating altimeters and in computing altitudes form the principal part of this report. An example of the computation of actual altitudes from observed pressures and temperatures are given in table IV.

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