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Boundary Layer Targeted Observations using the Glidersonde Meteorological Package Part I: Description and Results. Daniel B. Weber Frank W. Gallagher III Kenneth Howard. Photo by Wayne Feltz. Dataplane History.

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Boundary Layer Targeted Observations using the Glidersonde Meteorological Package Part I: Description and Results

Daniel B. Weber

Frank W. Gallagher III

Kenneth Howard

Photo by Wayne Feltz

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Dataplane History

  • The Dataplane was launched as a collaboration between Drs. Frank Gallagher and Dan Weber in the spring of 2000.

  • The reusable platform consists of:

    • A radio controlled model aircraft

    • A computer controlled meteorological instrumentation package.

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Dataplane Purpose

  • Test a newly developed instrument package via high-resolution targeted measurements of the boundary layer.

    • Scalars: temperature, pressure and water vapor.

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40 Sized Trainer

Senior Telemaster

Photo by Wayne Feltz

©2000 Frank W. Gallagher III

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Delivery Platform Specifications

  • Guidance: Radio controlled, pilot must see the aircraft

  • Wing span: 1.5-2.5m

  • Takeoff weight: 3.5-5kg

  • Range: 1-1.25km vertical and horizontal

  • Flight Duration: 20-25 minutes

  • Airspeed: 10m/s - 40 m/s

  • Source: Off the shelf kits and parts

  • Cost: Aircraft $350-$550

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  • Glidersonde project supported by Ken Howard and Mike Douglas at NSSL, CIMMS-OU.

  • Designed and built by Frank Gallagher, CIMMS-OU.

  • Tested Spring, Summer, Fall 2000.

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Glidersonde Meteorological Package

  • Vaisala RS-80 Based Sensor

    • Pressure, Temperature, Relative Humidity

  • GPS Time, Position, and Aircraft Velocity

  • One-Second Data Acquisition

  • Data Stored on Board

    • Up to 5 Days with 20 Mb PCMCIA card

  • NiMH Batteries for 4-Hour Collection

  • Simple PC RS-232 Interface

  • Transmitter Option for Telemetry

  • Base Cost: $1500

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Field Experiments

  • Winter wheat field, April 2000

  • June 2000: Research Experiences for Undergraduates -- University of Oklahoma and Clark-Atlanta University

  • ARM Water Vapor IOP 2000, Lamont, OK

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April, 2000 Wheat Field Study

  • Site: Northwest of Kingfisher, OK

  • Time: Evening soundings

  • Purpose: Capture the early development of the nocturnal boundary layer profile.

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Flight Path CharacteristicsTargeted Observations

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Nocturnal boundary layer development

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June, 2000 Field Study

  • Operations just south of the OU Norman, OK campus on the CORCS Club Field.

  • Operations commenced at 14:30Z and data were collected until 18:00Z.

  • Purpose: Capture the early development of a heated boundary layer during quiescent synoptic conditions.

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REU Results

  • Numerous soundings taken Animated

  • Strong surface heating and superadiabatic surface layer observed.

  • Well-mixed boundary layer developed up to 900mb by the end of the observing period (noon).

  • Strong moisture gradient at the top of the mixed layer (6 C).

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ARM Water Vapor IOP 2000

  • Operations located at the ARM Central Facility.

  • Purpose: Supporting water vapor measurements for comparison with the on-site balloon launch, Dial and Raman Lidar data.

  • Operations window: 3pm to dusk, minimize background solar radiation/contamination for the lidars.

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ARM Water Vapor IOP 2000

  • Measurements obtained during four days:

    • Evening of September 29, 2000, off-site

    • Evening of September 30, 2000, off-site

    • Evening of October 2, 2000, on-site

    • Morning of October 3, 2000, on-site

  • Results from each period are compared to the dual balloon launches.

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ARM Off-Site Observations

  • Obstacles: dirt roads, narrow runways, and numerous hazards

©2000 Frank W. Gallagher III

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ARM On-Site Observations

  • Operations center located 100m northwest of the balloon trailer in groomed pasture.


©2000 Frank W. Gallagher III

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Instrument Check

Photo by Wayne Feltz

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  • Dataplane vertical profiles of moisture and temperature compared favorably to the dual balloon sounding data.

  • Limited but useful tool for observing the boundary layer.

  • Some biases in temperature exist due to sensor location and will be addressed with the next version.