An inverse modelling approach for frequency response correction of capacitive humidity sensors in ABL research with small unmanned aircraft

N. Wildmann, F. Kaufmann, J. Bange
2014 Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions  
The measurement of water-vapour concentration in the atmosphere is an ongoing challenge in environmental research. Satisfactory solutions are present for ground-based meteorological stations and measurements of mean values. However, advanced research of thermodynamic processes also aloft, above the surface layer and especially in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), requires the resolution of small-scale turbulence. Sophisticated optical instruments are used in airborne meteorology with manned
more » ... aircraft to achieve the necessary fast response measurements in the order of 1 Hz (e.g. LiCor 7500). Since these instruments are too large and heavy for the application on the promising platforms of small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), a method is presented in this study, that enhances small capacitive humidity sensors to be able to resolve turbulent eddies in the order of 10 m. For this purpose a physical and dynamical model of such a sensor is described and inverted in order to restore original water vapour fluctuations from sensor measurements. Examples of flight measurements show how the method can be used to correct vertical profiles and resolve turbulence spectra up to about 3 Hz.
doi:10.5194/amtd-7-4407-2014 fatcat:u4kcrhllhrgclf4kejmv2vruiy