Articles | Volume 13, issue 5
Research article
29 May 2020
Research article |  | 29 May 2020

The CopterSonde: an insight into the development of a smart unmanned aircraft system for atmospheric boundary layer research

Antonio R. Segales, Brian R. Greene, Tyler M. Bell, William Doyle, Joshua J. Martin, Elizabeth A. Pillar-Little, and Phillip B. Chilson

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Cited articles

Bell, T. M., Greene, B. R., Klein, P. M., Carney, M. B., and Chilson, P. B.: Confronting the Boundary Layer Data Gap: Evaluating New and Existing Methodologies of Probing the Lower Atmosphere, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, in review, 2019. a, b, c, d, e
Bonin, T. A., Goines, D., Scott, A., Wainwright, C., Chilson, P. B., and Gibbs, J.: Measuring Structure Function Parameters with a Small Unmanned Aerial System, Bound-Lay. Meteorol., 155, 417–434,, 2015. a
Brock, F. V., Crawford, K. C., Elliott, R. L., Cuperus, G. W., Stadler, S. J., Johnson, H. L., and Eilts, M. D.: The Oklahoma Mesonet: a technical overview, J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 12, 5–19,<0005:TOMATO>2.0.CO;2, 1995. a
Chilson, P. B., Bell, T. M., Brewster, K. A., Britto Hupsel de Azevedo, G., Carr, F. H., Carson, K., Doyle, W., Fiebrich, C. A., Greene, B. R., Grimsley, J. L., Kanneganti, S. T., Martin, J., Moore, A., Palmer, R. D., Pillar-Little, E. A., Salazar-Cerreno, J. L., Segales, A. R., Weber, M. E., Yeary, M., and Droegemeier, K. K.: Moving towards a Network of Autonomous UAS Atmospheric Profiling Stations for Observations in the Earth's Lower Atmosphere: The 3D Mesonet Concept, Sensors, 19, 2720,, 2019. a
de Boer, G., Diehl, C., Jacob, J., Houston, A., Smith, S. W., Chilson, P., Schmale, D. G., Intrieri, J., Pinto, J., Elston, J., Brus, D., Kemppinen, O., Clark, A., Lawrence, D., Bailey, S. C., Sama, M. P., Frazier, A., Crick, C., Natalie, V., Pillar-Little, E., Klein, P., Waugh, S., Lundquist, J. K., Barbieri, L., Kral, S. T., Jensen, A. A., Dixon, C., Borenstein, S., Hesselius, D., Human, K., Hall, P., Argrow, B., Thornberry, T., Wright, R., and Kelly, J. T.: Development of community, capabilities and understanding through unmanned aircraft-based atmospheric research: The LAPSE-RATE campaign, B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., accepted,, 2019. a
Short summary
The CopterSonde is an unmanned aircraft system designed with the purpose of sampling thermodynamic and kinematic parameters of the lower Earth's atmosphere, with a focus on vertical profiles in the planetary boundary layer. By incorporating adaptive sampling techniques and optimizing the sensor placement, our study shows that CopterSonde can provide similar information as a radiosonde, but with more control of its sampling location at much higher temporal and spatial resolution.