Development of an in situ Acoustic Anemometer to Measure Wind in the Stratosphere for SENSOR
Abstract. The Stratospheric Environmental respoNses to Solar stORms (SENSOR) campaign investigates the influence of solar storms on the stratosphere. This campaign employs a long-duration zero-pressure balloon as a platform to carry multiple types of payloads during a series of flight experiments in the mid-latitude stratosphere from 2019 to 2022. This article describes the development and testing of an acoustic anemometer for obtaining in situ wind measurements along the balloon trajectory. Developing this anemometer was necessary, as there is no existing commercial off-the-shelf product, to the authors' knowledge, capable of obtaining in situ wind measurements on a high-altitude balloon or other similar floating platform in the stratosphere. The anemometer is also equipped with temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors from a Temperature-Pressure-Humidity measurement module, inherited from a radiosonde developed for sounding balloons. The acoustic anemometer and other sensors were used in a flight experiment of the SENSOR campaign that took place in the Da chaidan District (95.37° E, 37.74° N) on 4 September 2019. The zonal and meridional wind speed observations, which were obtained during level flight at an altitude exceeding 20 km, are presented. This is the first time that in situ wind measurements were obtained during level flight at this altitude. In addition to wind speed measurements, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity measurements during ascent are compared to observations from a nearby radiosonde launched four hours earlier. Further analysis of the wind data will presented in a subsequent publication. The problems experienced by the acoustic anemometer during the 2019 experiment show that the acoustic anemometer must be improved for future experiments in the SENSOR campaign.
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