Articles | Volume 6, issue 8
Research article
22 Aug 2013
Research article |  | 22 Aug 2013

Two fast temperature sensors for probing of the atmospheric boundary layer using small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)

N. Wildmann, M. Mauz, and J. Bange

Abstract. Two types of temperature sensors are designed and tested: a thermocouple and a fine wire resistance thermometer. The intention of this study is to figure out which kind of measurement principle is in general more suited for atmospheric boundary layer meteorology with small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). The sensors are calibrated in a NIST traceable climate chamber and validated in flight against tower measurements, radiosondes and remote sensing. The sensors have a measurement range of at least −10–50 °C, an absolute RMS error of less than ±0.2 K which is stable over the lifetime of the sensors, and a resolution of about 0.01 K. Both devices are tested for typical errors like radiation error and adiabatic heating, as well as for their dynamic response. Spectral resolutions of up to approximately 10 Hz can be obtained with both sensors, which makes them suitable for turbulence measurement. Their low cost of less than 100 EUR in pure hardware is a major advantage for research with small RPA.