11th Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation


Development and testing of a Sky Arrow 650 ERA for Atmospheric research

Edward J. Dumas, NOAA/ARL, Oak Ridge, TN; and S. B. Brooks and J. Verfaillie

Traditionally, fluxes of mass, momentum, and energy have been measured at the lowest levels of the atmospheric boundary layer from fixed towers or buoys. Such measurement techniques allow the temporal variation of these fluxes to be measured at a fixed location in space. Through the use of an instrumented moving platform, such as an aircraft, the spatial variation of these fluxes can be studied in great detail. By using airborne measurements in oonjunction with measurements made from fixed surface locations, a more complete understanding of the atmospheric mass, mementum, and energy exchange can be formed.

The technology required to make airborne flux measurements has been been available for several decades. Until recently, however, the size and complexity of the required instrumentation have demanded the use of large aircraft and dedicated support facilities to maintain and operate those aircraft. The advent of smaller, lighter, and lower-power consumption instruments and data acquisition systems are now allowing these measurements to be made from small aircraft. The focus of this paper is to report on the development and testing of a new commercially available aircraft which is instrumented primarily to measure fluxes of mass, momentum, and energy in the lowest levels of the atmospheric boundary layer. This aircraft is the Sky Arrow 650 Environmental Research Aircraft (ERA), a single-engine, two place, FAA certified normal category aircraft produced by Iniziative Industriali Italiane Spa. The Sky Arrow was developed and tested under a joint NOAA, San Diego State University, and Italian initiative.

Session 5, Aircraft Platforms and Airborne Measurements
Tuesday, 16 January 2001, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

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