Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-173
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-173

  29 Jun 2021

29 Jun 2021

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

Instabilities, Dynamics, and Energetics accompanying Atmospheric Layering (IDEAL) Campaign: High-Resolution in situ Observations above the Nocturnal Boundary Layer

Abhiram Doddi1, Dale Lawrence1, David Fritts2, Ling Wang2, Thomas Lund2, William Brown3, Dragan Zajic4, and Lakshmi Kantha1 Abhiram Doddi et al.
  • 1Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2GATS, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Earth Observing Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Meteorology Division, Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, UT, USA

Abstract. The Instabilities, Dynamics, and Energetics accompanying Atmospheric Layering (IDEAL) project was conceived to improve our understanding of the dynamics of sheet and layer (S&L) structures in the lower troposphere under strongly stable conditions. The approach employed a synergistic combination of targeted multi-point observations using small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) guiding direct numerical simulation (DNS) modeling to characterize the dynamics driving the S&L structures and associated flow features. The IDEAL research program consisted of two phases. The first was an observational field campaign to systematically probe stable lower atmosphere conditions using multiple DataHawk-2 (DH2) sUAS. Coordinated, simultaneous multi-DH2 flights were guided by concurrent Integrated Sounding System (ISS) wind profiler radar and radiosonde soundings performed by NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) participants. Additional sUAS flight guidance was obtained from real-time sUAS measurements. Following the field campaign, the second phase focused on high-resolution DNS modeling efforts guided by in-situ observations made during the first phase. This overview focuses on the details of the observational phase that took place from 24 October to 15 November 2017 at Dugway Proving Ground (DPG), Utah. A total of 72 DH2 flights coordinated with 93 balloon-borne radiosondes were deployed in support of the IDEAL field campaign. Our discussion addresses the average atmospheric conditions, the observation strategy, and the objectives of the field campaign. Also presented are representative flight sorties and sUAS environmental and turbulence measurements.

Abhiram Doddi 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-2021-173', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Abhiram Doddi, 20 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-173', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Abhiram Doddi, 20 Oct 2021

Abhiram Doddi et al.

Abhiram Doddi et al.

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Short summary
Small-scale turbulent structures are ubiquitous in the atmosphere, yet our understanding of their structure and dynamics is vastly incomplete. The IDEAL project aimed to improve our understanding of small-scale turbulent flow features in the lower atmosphere. Small, unmanned fixed-wing aircraft was employed to make targeted observations of atmospheric columns. Measured data was used to guide atmospheric model simulations designed to describe the structure and dynamics of small-scale turbulence.