Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Publication Title

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques

ISSN

1867-8548

Volume

10

Issue

1

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-247-2017

Abstract

Accurate three-dimensional information of wind flow fields can be an important tool in not only visualizing complex flow but also understanding the underlying physical processes and improving flow modeling. However, a thorough analysis of the measurement uncertainties is required to properly interpret results. The XPIA (eXperimental Planetary boundary layer Instrumentation Assessment) field campaign conducted at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) in Erie, CO, from 2 March to 31 May 2015 brought together a large suite of in situ and remote sensing measurement platforms to evaluate complex flow measurement strategies. In this paper, measurement uncertainties for different single and multi-Doppler strategies using simple scan geometries (conical, vertical plane and staring) are investigated. The tradeoffs (such as time–space resolution vs. spatial coverage) among the different measurement techniques are evaluated using co-located measurements made near the BAO tower. Sensitivity of the single-/multi-Doppler measurement uncertainties to averaging period are investigated using the sonic anemometers installed on the BAO tower as the standard reference. Finally, the radiometer measurements are used to partition the measurement periods as a function of atmospheric stability to determine their effect on measurement uncertainty. It was found that with an increase in spatial coverage and measurement complexity, the uncertainty in the wind measurement also increased. For multi-Doppler techniques, the increase in uncertainty for temporally uncoordinated measurements is possibly due to requiring additional assumptions of stationarity along with horizontal homogeneity and less representative line-of-sight velocity statistics. It was also found that wind speed measurement uncertainty was lower during stable conditions compared to unstable conditions.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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