Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 4375–4386, 2016

Special issue: The Boundary-Layer Late Afternoon and Sunset Turbulence (BLLAST)...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 4375–4386, 2016

Research article 06 Sep 2016

Research article | 06 Sep 2016

Turbulence fluxes and variances measured with a sonic anemometer mounted on a tethered balloon

Guylaine Canut1, Fleur Couvreux1, Marie Lothon2, Dominique Legain1, Bruno Piguet1, Astrid Lampert3, William Maurel1, and Eric Moulin1 Guylaine Canut et al.
  • 1CNRM-GAME (Météo-France and CNRS), Toulouse, France
  • 2Laboratoire d'Aerologie, University of Toulouse, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 3Institute of Flight Guidance, TU Braunschweig, Hermann-Blenk-Str. 27, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany

Abstract. This study presents the first deployment in field campaigns of a balloon-borne turbulence probe, developed with a sonic anemometer and an inertial motion sensor suspended below a tethered balloon. This system measures temperature and horizontal and vertical wind at high frequency and allows the estimation of heat and momentum fluxes as well as turbulent kinetic energy in the lower part of the boundary layer. The system was validated during three field experiments with different convective boundary-layer conditions, based on turbulent measurements from instrumented towers and aircraft.

Short summary
Turbulent processes of the atmospheric boundary layer contribute the most to transfers between the surface and the atmosphere. Typically, turbulent boundary layer parameters are measured by sonic anemometers on masts and by research aircraft. This is to measure in situ turbulent parameters in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) at altitudes above 50 m. For this purpose, our team have developed a system under a tethered balloon which has been in use since 2010.