Validation Reports & Surveys

unIQUE DATA FROM THE PLANETARY BOUNDARY LAYER

Validation Reports & Surveys

unIQUE DATA FROM THE PLANETARY BOUNDARY LAYER

Here you can find reports and studies conducted by us or our partners

Air Support - Meteodrones Article in Meteorological Technology International Magazine

Air Support - Meteodrones Article in Meteorological Technology International Magazine

Meteomatics' Meteodrones might become a real alternative for radiosondes as their capabilities cuntinously evolve to fly in inclement weather and at ever higher altitudes.
  

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meteodrone_weather forecasting report

On the Use of Unmanned Aircraft for Sampling Mesoscale Phenomena in the Preconvective Boundary Layer

The potential value of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for monitoring the preconvective environment and providing useful information in real time to weather forecasters for evaluation at a National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office are addressed. The general goal was to demonstrate whether a combination of fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAS can provide detailed, accurate, and useful measurements of the boundary layer important for determining the potential for convection initiation (CI). Two field operations were held: a validation study in which the UAS data were compared with collocated measurements made by mobile rawinsondes and ground-based remote sensing systems and a real-time experiment held to evaluate the potential value of the UAS observations in an operationally relevant environment. Vertical profile measurements were made by the rotary-wing UAS at two mesonet sites every 30 min up to 763 m (2500 ft) AGL in coordination with fixed-wing UAS transects between the sites. The results showed the ability of the fixed-wing UAS to detect significant spatial gradients in temperature, moisture, and winds. Although neither of two different types of rotary-wing UAS measurements were able to strictly meet the requirements for sensor accuracy, one of the systems came very close to doing so. UAS sensor accuracy, methods for retrieving the winds, and challenges in assessing the representativeness of the observations are highlighted. Interesting mesoscale phenomena relevant to CI forecasting needs are revealed by the UAS. Issues needing to be overcome for UAS to ever become a NOAA operational observing system are discussed.

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Remarkable Soundings

In our nightly flight operations we collect some remarkable data. Some of which we would like to share:

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New flight altitude record of the Meteodrones

 The aim of the Meteodrones is to improve high-resolution weather forecasting systems. With the help of the drones meteorological parameters are measured within the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL / <2km), thus closing the existing data gap. For this reason countless test flights have been carried out for up to 2km and Meteomatics started to build a network of drone flight operations last year. On the 29th of July a new record of flight altitude was set up with flights up to 3000m above sea level.

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Improving High-Impact Numerical Weather Prediction with Lidar and Drone Observations

The Status and Future of Small Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Operational Meteorology

The boundary layer plays a critical role in regulating energy and moisture exchange between the surface and the free atmosphere. However, the boundary layer and lower atmosphere (including shallow flow features and horizontal gradients that influence local weather) are not sampled at time and space scales needed to improve mesoscale analyses that are used to drive short-term model predictions of impactful weather. These data gaps are exasperated in remote and less developed parts of the world where relatively cheap observational capabilities could help immensely. The continued development of small, weather-sensing uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), coupled with the emergence of an entirely new commercial sector focused on UAS applications, has created novel opportunities for partially filling this observational gap. This article provides an overview of the current level of readiness of small UAS for routinely sensing the lower atmosphere in support of national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS) around the world. The potential benefits of UAS observations in operational weather forecasting and numerical weather prediction are discussed, as are key considerations that will need to be addressed before their widespread adoption. Finally, potential pathways for implementation of weather-sensing UAS into operations, which hinge on their successful demonstration within collaborative, multi-agency-sponsored testbeds, are suggested.

 

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meteodrone_weather forecasting report

Whitepaper: How Meteodrones Contribute to Weather Forecasting

This white paper describes the observational data challenges that impact modern numerical weather forecasts and how these could be overcome with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Small rotary wings UAV have the potential to provide a unique observing system capable of measuring detailed vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, air pressure and wind. These meteorological data - captured within the planetary boundary layer (PBL) - help to determine the potential for severe weather formation and enhance the forecasting ability for atmospheric conditions such as hail, icing and fog formation among others.

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High altitude tests at Jungfraujoch (3454m)

To collect even more data and get further insights into the atmospheric conditions the flight altitude is an important factor for the development of the Meteodrone. For this reason the Meteodrones rose into the sky from the Jungfraujoch and Meteomatics was able to specify the requirements for the propulsion system for high altitude flights.

Download Report 1 (PDF, English)

Download Report 2 (PDF, English)

meteodrones_high altitude test jungfraujoch

Meteodrones take off at the ISARRA Conference

The Meteodrones, which were specifically developed for meteorological measurements up to 2 kilometers above ground, take up an absolutely exceptional position among the presented aircrafts at the ISARRA Conference. Besides the validation of sampling techniques, inter-comparisons with providers of various different aircrafts were scheduled for the flights in Cardington.

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Improving High-Impact Numerical Weather Prediction with Lidar and Drone Observations

Improving High-Impact Numerical Weather Prediction with Lidar and Drone Observations

The current atmospheric observing systems fail to provide a satisfactory amount of spatially and temporally resolved observations of temperature and humidity in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) despite their potential positive impact on numerical weather prediction (NWP). This is particularly critical for humidity, which exhibits a very high variability in space and time or for the vertical distribution of temperature, determining the atmosphere’s stability. Novel ground-based lidar remote sensing technologies and in situ measurements from unmanned aerial vehicles can fill this observational gap, but operational maturity was so far lacking. Only recently, commercial lidar systems for temperature and humidity profiling in the lower troposphere and automated observations on board of drones have become available. Raman lidar can provide profiles of temperature and humidity with high temporal and vertical resolution in the troposphere. Drones can provide high-quality in situ observations of various meteorological variables with high temporal and vertical resolution, but flights are complicated in high-wind situations, icing conditions, and can be restricted by aviation activity. Both observation systems have shown to considerably improve analyses and forecasts of high-impact weather, such as thunderstorms and fog in an operational, convective-scale NWP framework. The results of this study demonstrate the necessity for and the value of additional, high-frequency PBL observations for NWP and how lidar and drone observations can fill the gap in the current operational observing system.
 

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Final report: SOPHIA 2 – Study of Propeller Icing Hazard in Mini-UAV Aviation

Ice accumulations cause also problems for e.g. passenger aviation and helicopters. Since more and more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used, which are equally affected by icing. During test flights with our Meteodrone ice accumulations, which had a negative impact on the controllability, could be experienced. The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) funded the extended study SOPHIA-2 to study icing conditions under lab conditions and to develop methods to forecast icing conditions with high-resolution models. SOPHIA-2 can be considered to be a follow-up study to SOPHIA.

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meteodrones propeller icing report_2

Final report: SOPHIA – Study of Propeller Icing Hazard in Mini-UAV Aviation

Ice accumulations cause also problems for e.g. passenger aviation and helicopters. Since more and more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used, which are equally affected by icing. During test flights with our Meteodrone ice accumulations, which had a negative impact on the controllability, could be experienced. Because no study exists which analyzes Icing on UAVs, Meteomatics has investigated the icing of propellers together with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). 

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meteodrones propeller icing report_2

Report: Meteodrone air quality measurements

Together with the department for environmental protection of the Canton Uri and the Phoster GmbH, Meteomatics tested the application of drones in air pollutant measurements. The results of the pilot project, concerning the measurement quality and its relevance for questions of air quality is described in the report below.

Download Meteodrone Measurement Report (PDF, German)