As of today, there is a gap in the operational data collection of meteorological observations in the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL). This lack of spatially and temporally reliable knowledge of PBL conditions and energy fluxes with the surface causes shortcomings in the prediction of convection, temperature inversions, local wind systems or fog. To fill this data gap, since 2012, Meteomatics has been developing a drone measurement system, the Meteodrone, to measure the parameters wind speed, wind direction, dewpoint, temperature and air pressure of the PBL up to 1.5 km above ground.
Both the data quality and the assimilation into a regional numerical weather model could be determined in several pilot studies. Besides, a project in cooperation with the NSSL (National Severe Storms Laboratory) was launched in October 2016 with the goal of capturing pre-convective conditions for improved severe storm forecasts in Oklahoma. Also, related measurements, such as air pollution measurements in the Reuss and Misox valley to determine pollution data were successfully conducted.
Thanks to the BAZL certification, more and more specialists are interested in the drone system. Meteomatics CEO Dr. Martin Fengler talks about the possibilities offered by such a platform within the framework of the SLF Colloquium.