Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-515
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-515

  18 Feb 2021

18 Feb 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Drone Measurements of Surface-Based Winter Temperature Inversions in the High Arctic at Eureka

Alexey B. Tikhomirov, Glen Lesins, and James R. Drummond Alexey B. Tikhomirov et al.
  • Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada

Abstract. The absence of sunlight during the winter in the High Arctic results in a strong surface-based atmospheric temperature inversion especially during clear skies and light surface wind conditions. The inversion suppresses turbulent heat transfer between the ground and the boundary layer. As a result the difference between the surface air temperature, measured at a height of 2 m, and the ground skin temperature can exceed several degrees Celsius. Such inversions occur very frequently in polar regions and are of interest to understand the mechanisms responsible for surface-atmosphere heat, mass and momentum exchanges and are critical for satellite validation studies.

In this paper we present the results of operations of two commercial remotely piloted aircraft systems, or drones, at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), Eureka, Nunavut, Canada, at 80° N latitude. The drones are the Matrice 100 and M210-RTK quad-copters manufactured by DJI and were flown over Eureka during the February–March field campaigns in 2017 and 2020. They were equipped with a temperature measurement system built on a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, three platinum wire temperature sensors, GNSS receiver, and a pressure sensor.

We demonstrate that the drones can be effectively used in the High Arctic to measure vertical temperature profiles up to 60 m of the ground and sea ice surface. Our results indicate that the inversion lapse rates within 0–10 m altitude range above the ground can reach the values of ~0.1–0.3 °C/m (~100–300 °C/km). The results are in a good agreement with the coincident temperatures measured at 2, 6 and 10 m levels at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flux tower at PEARL. Above 10 m a weaker inversion with an order of magnitude smaller lapse rates is recorded by the drone. The inversion strength agrees well with one obtained from the radiosonde temperature measurements. Above the sea ice, drone temperature profiles are found to have an isothermal layer above a surface based layer of instability which is attributed to the sensible heat flux through the sea ice. With the drones we were able to evaluate the influence of local topography on the surface-based inversion structure above the ground and to measure extremely cold temperatures of air that can pool in topographic depressions. The unique technical challenges of conducting drone campaigns in the winter High Arctic are highlighted in the paper.

Alexey B. Tikhomirov et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2020-515', John Cassano, 06 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2020-515', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Mar 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on amt-2020-515', Anonymous Referee #3, 23 Mar 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on amt-2020-515', Andrew Leung, 12 Apr 2021

Alexey B. Tikhomirov et al.

Alexey B. Tikhomirov et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 388 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
273 102 13 388 4 6
  • HTML: 273
  • PDF: 102
  • XML: 13
  • Total: 388
  • BibTeX: 4
  • EndNote: 6
Views and downloads (calculated since 18 Feb 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 18 Feb 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 345 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 345 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 08 May 2021
Download
Short summary
Two commercial quadcopters (DJI Matrice 100 and M210-RTK) were equipped with an air temperature measurement system. They were flown at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Eureka, Nunavut, Canada, at 80° N latitude to study surface-based temperature inversion during the February–March field campaigns in 2017 and 2020. It was demonstrated that the drones can be effectively used in the High Arctic to measure vertical temperature profiles up to 60 m of the ground.