6B.8 Stability and turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer: A comparison of remote sensing and tower observations

Tuesday, 10 July 2012: 5:15 PM
Essex Center (Westin Copley Place)
Katja Friedrich, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and J. K. Lundquist, M. Aitken, E. A. Kalina, and R. F. Marshall

When monitoring winds and atmospheric stability for wind energy applications, remote sensing instruments present some advantages to in-situ instrumentation such as larger vertical extent, in some cases easy installation and maintenance, measurements of vertical humidity profiles throughout the boundary layer, and no restrictions on prevailing wind directions. In this study, we compare remote sensing devices, Windcube lidar and microwave radiometer, to meteorological in-situ tower measurements to demonstrate the accuracy of these measurements and to assess the utility of the remote sensing instruments in overcoming tower limitations. We compare temperature and wind observations, as well as calculations of Brunt-Väisälä frequency and Richardson numbers for the instrument deployment period in May-June 2011 at the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado. The study reveals that a lidar and radiometer measure wind and temperature with the same accuracy as tower instruments, while also providing advantages for monitoring stability and turbulence. We demonstrate that the atmospheric stability is determined more accurately when the liquid-water mixing ratio derived from the vertical humidity profile is considered under moist-adiabatic conditions.
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