returns the value of the property at the specified geometrical altitude for the chosen model of the standard Earth atmosphere.


returns a piecewise symbolic approximation with the range of an atmospheric layer for the property.


returns the full piecewise symbolic approximation for the property.

Details and Options

  • StandardAtmosphereData["Properties"] gives a list of all properties available.
  • Properties are returned using Quantity where appropriate.
  • Properties include:
  • "CollisionFrequency"frequency of collisions between atmospheric particles
    "Density"standard density of atmosphere
    "DynamicViscosity"dynamic viscosity of atmosphere
    "GravityAcceleration"acceleration due to gravity
    "KinematicViscosity"kinematic viscosity of atmosphere
    "MeanFreePath"average distance traveled by an atmospheric particle between collisions
    "MeanMolecularWeight"average molecular weight of atmospheric particles
    "MeanParticleSpeed"average atmospheric particle speed
    "NumberDensity"density of atmospheric particles
    "Pressure"average pressure of atmosphere
    "PressureScaleHeight"distance over which pressure decreased by a factor of E
    "SoundSpeed"speed of sound
    "Temperature"standard temperature of atmosphere
    "ThermalConductivityCoefficient"thermal conductivity coefficient
  • StandardAtmosphereData["Layers"] gives a list of all atmospheric layers available.
  • StandardAtmosphereData["SymbolicApproximation",property] returns a Function with a piecewise symbolic approximation for the property values over its range of validity in an atmospheric model.
  • Returned piecewise functions only accept units of length as input.
  • StandardAtmosphereData[layer,property] is equivalent to applying Refine to StandardAtmosphereData["SymbolicApproximation",property] for the range of the atmospheric layer.
  • The option Method can be given to specify the atmospheric model to use.
  • The following settings can be used:
  • "InternationalStandardAtmosphere"1964 International Standard Atmosphere model
    "Jacchia"1977 Jacchia Atmosphere model for exospheric temperature at 1000 K
    "USStandardAtmosphere"1976 United States Standard Atmsophere model
  • The default setting for Method is "USStandardAtmosphere".
  • Not all properties are fully available for all models.


open allclose all

Basic Examples  (1)

Find the standard air pressure at 30000 feet:

Examine how temperature scales with altitude:

Scope  (5)

Obtain a list of properties:

Find the mean free path at a particular altitude:

Get the symbolic approximation for a property:

Get a list of all available atmospheric layers:

Find the symbolic approximation for a property within a particular layer:

Examine how the mean free path varies with the dynamic viscosity:

Options  (2)

Method  (2)

Substitute other atmospheric models:

Examine the differences between the US and International Standard Atmosphere temperatures:

Applications  (3)

Find the density of air at the Kármán line, the boundary between the atmosphere and outer space:

Calculate the mass of air beneath the Kármán line:

Examine the rate of temperature change as a function of altitude:

Use the derivative to verify the rule of thumb for the lapse rate, that temperature drops 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit every 1000 feet:

Examine how the number density relates to mean particle speed through the atmosphere:

Properties & Relations  (3)

StandardAtmosphereData uses different models from the equations of ThermodynamicData:

Create more refined symbolic expressions with Refine:

Use UnitConvert to convert values to different units and unit systems:

Possible Issues  (5)

Altitude should be a unit of length:

Properties are only supported within a limited range of altitudes:

Not all properties are available for all models:

Supported altitude ranges may vary between models:

Only inputs that are in units of length are acceptable inputs to the symbolic codes:

Neat Examples  (2)

Discover how the barometric pressure formula diverges from the US Standard Atmosphere model:

Examine the motion of a falling bowling ball from 30000 feet based on air density and the acceleration of gravity:

Find the characteristics of a bowling ball:

Set initial conditions:

Solve differential equations for the motion of a falling object under the effects of drag:

Also look at the case without drag:

Compare the different sorts of motion:

Examine the velocities of the bowling ball with and without air resistance:

Compare speed with drag with the speed of sound at that altitude:

Wolfram Research (2014), StandardAtmosphereData, Wolfram Language function,


Wolfram Research (2014), StandardAtmosphereData, Wolfram Language function,


@misc{reference.wolfram_2020_standardatmospheredata, author="Wolfram Research", title="{StandardAtmosphereData}", year="2014", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 04-March-2021 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2020_standardatmospheredata, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={StandardAtmosphereData}, year={2014}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 04-March-2021 ]}


Wolfram Language. 2014. "StandardAtmosphereData." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research.


Wolfram Language. (2014). StandardAtmosphereData. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from