Performance of WVSS-II hygrometers on the FAAM research aircraft
- 1Met Office, Exeter, UK
- 2FAAM, Cranfield, UK
Abstract. We compare the performance of five hygrometers fitted to the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement's (FAAM) BAe 146-301 research aircraft using data from approximately 100 flights executed over the course of 2 years under a wide range of conditions. Bulk comparison of cloud free data show good agreement between chilled mirror hygrometers and a WVSS-II fed from a modified Rosemount inlet, but that a WVSS-II fed from the standard flush inlet appears to over-read compared to the other instruments, except at higher humidities.
Statistical assessment of hygrometer performance in cloudy conditions is problematic due to the variable nature of clouds, so a number of case studies are used instead to investigate the performance of the hygrometers in sub-optimal conditions. It is found that the flush inlet is not susceptible to either liquid or solid water but that the Rosemount inlet has a significant susceptibility to liquid water and may also be susceptible to ice. In all conditions the WVSS-II responds much more rapidly than the chilled mirror devices, with the flush inlet-fed WVSS-II being more rapid than that connected to the Rosemount.