4.2 UAS observations and their impact on NWP during TUFT

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 11:30 AM
Room 17A (Austin Convention Center)
Heather Richardson, AirDat, Morrisville, nc; and N. A. Jacobs, P. Childs, P. Marinello, and X. Y. Huang

A miniaturized version of the Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) unit was designed for unmanned aircraft systems or vehicles (UAS/UAVs). With minimal weight, size, and power consumption, this probe can be fixed to UAVs as small as the AAAI Arcturus and Aerostars.

The TAMDAR sensor measures humidity, pressure, temperature, winds aloft, icing, and turbulence, along with the corresponding location, time, and altitude from built-in GPS. These observations are transmitted in real time to a ground-based network operations center via a global satellite network.

TAMDAR-UAS Flight Test (TUFT) field experiment was designed to test the ability of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to capture data that would provide positive impact into a limited area model.

Within this experiment were tests on various flight tracks and levels to determine the potential for maximum sampling efficiency given the ability to predetermine a route of travel. Data was collected, and several data-denial experiments were conducted. Results suggest that some flight patterns and sampling times are more ideal than others to extract maximum benefit from a single platform observing system.

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