02 Jan 2023
02 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Estimating turbulent energy flux vertical profiles from uncrewed aircraft system measurements: Exemplary results for the MOSAiC campaign

Ulrike Egerer1,2,a, John J. Cassano1,2,3, Matthew D. Shupe1,5, Gijs de Boer1,5, Dale Lawrence4, Abhiram Doddi4, Holger Siebert6, Gina Jozef1,2,3, Radiance Calmer1,2, and Jonathan Hamilton1,5 Ulrike Egerer et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 6Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, Germany
  • anow at: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO, USA

Abstract. This study analyzes turbulent energy fluxes in the Arctic atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) using measurements with a small Uncrewed Aircraft System (sUAS). Turbulent fluxes constitute a major part of the atmospheric energy budget and influence the surface heat balance by distributing energy vertically in the atmosphere. However, only few in-situ measurements exist of the vertical profile of turbulent fluxes in the Arctic ABL. The study presents a method to derive turbulent heat fluxes from DataHawk2 sUAS turbulence measurements, based on the flux gradient method with a parameterization of the turbulent exchange coefficient. This parameterization is derived from high-resolution horizontal wind speed measurements in combination with formulations for the turbulent Prandtl number and anisotropy depending on stability. Measurements were taken during the MOSAiC expedition in the Arctic sea ice during the melt season of 2020. For three example cases from this campaign, vertical profiles of turbulence parameters and turbulent heat fluxes are presented and compared to balloon-borne, radar and near-surface measurements. The combination of all measurements draws a consistent picture of ABL conditions and demonstrates the unique potential of the presented method for studying turbulent exchange processes in the vertical ABL profile with sUAS measurements.

Ulrike Egerer et al.

Status: open (until 07 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-314', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Jan 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-314', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Jan 2023 reply

Ulrike Egerer et al.

Ulrike Egerer et al.


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Short summary
This paper describes how measurements from a small uncrewed aircraft system can be used to estimate the vertical turbulent heat energy exchange between different layers in the atmosphere. This is particularly important for the atmosphere in the Arctic because here turbulent exchange is often suppressed, but still important to understand how the atmosphere interacts with the sea ice. Three case studies from the MOSAiC field campaign in the Arctic sea ice in 2020 are presented.