675 Using Kites for Meteorological Measurement

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Alison D. Nugent, Univ. of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI; and D. DeCou

Kite based platforms to measure atmospheric properties have been used for centuries. With rapid development of new technology for drones, and computer miniaturization (Raspberry Pi’s), kite measurement can also get a makeover. We use our strategic location on the island of Oahu in Hawaii to make meteorological measurements from the windward coast of the steady incoming trade wind flow. Incoming marine air is measured from the coastline before it is modified by the island, giving us information on upwind flow properties with application to mountain meteorology. We seek to observe atmospheric properties including upstream temperature and moisture variations, water vapor flux, wind speed variations, and giant sea-salt aerosol concentration with instruments tethered to the kite string. Testing and preliminary measurements are in progress, and future test-bed field campaigns are planned. We've learned that kite measurement isn’t as easy as it looks, and that there are many factors to consider for accurate measurement from kites. Development issues and ideas will be discussed, along with preliminary findings. Furthermore, we’ve learned that in some ways, kites can act as better platforms than drones, especially when it comes to longer-duration measurement.
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