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A full implementation of the ICAO standard atmosphere 1993

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Ambiance is a full implementation of the ICAO standard atmosphere 1993 written in Python.


Atmospheric properties are computed from an “Atmosphere object” which takes the altitude (geometric height) as input. For instance, to simply retrieve sea level properties, you can write:

>>> from ambiance import Atmosphere
>>> sealevel = Atmosphere(0)

>>> sealevel.temperature

>>> sealevel.pressure

>>> sealevel.kinematic_viscosity

List of available atmospheric properties

  • Collision frequency (collision_frequency)
  • Density (density)
  • Dynamic viscosity (dynamic_viscosity)
  • Gravitational acceleration (grav_accel)
  • Kinematic viscosity (kinematic_viscosity)
  • Layer names (layer_name) [string array]
  • Mean free path (mean_free_path)
  • Mean particle speed (mean_particle_speed)
  • Number density (number_density)
  • Pressure (pressure)
  • Pressure scale height (pressure_scale_height)
  • Specific weight (specific_weight)
  • Speed of sound (speed_of_sound)
  • Temperature (temperature, temperature_in_celsius)
  • Thermal conductivity (thermal_conductivity)

List-like input

Ambiance also handles list-like input (list, tuples, Numpy arrays). The following code demonstrates how to produce a temperature plot with Matplotlib. In the example, Numpy’s linspace() function is used to produce an array with altitudes.

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from ambiance import Atmosphere

# Make an atmosphere object
heights = np.linspace(-5e3, 80e3, num=1000)
atmosphere = Atmosphere(heights)

# Make plot
plt.plot(atmosphere.temperature_in_celsius, heights/1000)
plt.ylabel('Height [km]')
plt.xlabel('Temperature [°C]')

The output is

Temperature plot

Matrix-like input

Similarly, you can also pass in entire matrices. Example:

>>> import numpy as np
>>> from ambiance import Atmosphere

>>> h = np.array([[0, 11, 12], [20, 21, 35], [0, 80, 50]])*1000
>>> h  # Geometric heights in metres
array([[    0, 11000, 12000],
       [20000, 21000, 35000],
       [    0, 80000, 50000]])

>>> Atmosphere(h).temperature
array([[288.15      , 216.7735127 , 216.65      ],
       [216.65      , 217.58085353, 236.51337209],
       [288.15      , 198.63857625, 270.65      ]])

>>> Atmosphere(h).speed_of_sound
array([[340.29398803, 295.15359145, 295.06949351],
       [295.06949351, 295.70270856, 308.29949587],
       [340.29398803, 282.53793156, 329.798731  ]])

>>> Atmosphere([30000, 0]).layer_name
array(['stratosphere', 'troposphere'], dtype='<U42')

For all functionality see the complete documentation.


Ambiance is available on PyPI and may simply be installed with

pip install ambiance


Using Ambiance requires

  • Python 3.6 or higher
  • NumPy
  • SciPy

For developers: Recommended packages may be installed with the requirements.txt.

pip install -r requirements.txt


License: Apache-2.0

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