Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
Research article
22 Apr 2014
Research article |  | 22 Apr 2014

Towards higher accuracy and better frequency response with standard multi-hole probes in turbulence measurement with remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)

N. Wildmann, S. Ravi, and J. Bange

Abstract. This study deals with the problem of turbulence measurement with small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). It shows how multi-hole probes (MHPs) can be used to measure fluctuating parts of the airflow in flight up to 20 Hz. Accurate measurement of the transient wind in the outdoor environment is needed for the estimation of the 3-D wind vector as well as turbulent fluxes of heat, momentum, water vapour, etc. In comparison to an established MHP system, experiments were done to show how developments of the system setup can improve data quality. The study includes a re-evaluation of the pneumatic tubing setup, the conversion from pressures to airspeed, the pressure transducers, and the data acquisition system. In each of these fields, the steps that were taken lead to significant improvements. A spectral analysis of airspeed data obtained in flight tests shows the capability of the system to measure atmospheric turbulence up to the desired frequency range.