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Title: Intercomparison of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Measurements for Atmospheric Science during the LAPSE-RATE Campaign

Abstract

Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) are rapidly transforming atmospheric research. With the advancement of the development and application of these systems, improving knowledge of best practices for accurate measurement is critical for achieving scientific goals. We present results from an intercomparison of atmospheric measurement data from the Lower Atmospheric Process Studies at Elevation—a Remotely piloted Aircraft Team Experiment (LAPSE-RATE) field campaign. We evaluate a total of 38 individual sUAS with 23 unique sensor and platform configurations using a meteorological tower for reference measurements. We assess precision, bias, and time response of sUAS measurements of temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Most sUAS measurements show broad agreement with the reference, particularly temperature and wind speed, with mean value differences of 1.6 ± 2.6 ° C and 0.22 ± 0.59 m/s for all sUAS, respectively. sUAS platform and sensor configurations were found to contribute significantly to measurement accuracy. Sensor configurations, which included proper aspiration and radiation shielding of sensors, were found to provide the most accurate thermodynamic measurements (temperature and relative humidity), whereas sonic anemometers on multirotor platforms provided the most accurate wind measurements (horizontal speed and direction). We contribute both a characterization and assessment of sUAS for measuring atmospheric parameters, and identify important challenges and opportunities for improving scientific measurements with sUAS.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [8];  [9]; ORCiD logo [10]; ORCiD logo [11]; ORCiD logo [11]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [8]; ORCiD logo [8]; ORCiD logo [12];  [9] more »; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [11]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [11];  [3];  [8]; ORCiD logo [3];  [13];  [9];  [9]; ORCiD logo [14] « less
  1. Univ. of Vermont, Burlington, VT (United States)
  2. Univ. of Bergen (Norway)
  3. Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (United States)
  4. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
  5. Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)
  6. Finnish Meteorological Inst., Helsinki (Finland)
  7. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
  8. Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)
  9. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  10. Black Swift Technologies, Boulder, CO
  11. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)
  12. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)
  13. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Norman, OK (United States). National Severe Storms Lab.
  14. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); NOAA Physical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); National Science Foundation (NSF); Research Council of Norway
OSTI Identifier:
1613040
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018985; AGS 1807199; CBET-1351411; 1539070; AGS 1520825; AGS 1665456; AGS 1632829
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Sensors
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1424-8220
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; chemistry; engineering; instruments & instrumentation; sUAS; unmanned aircraft systems; unmanned aerial vehicles; UAV; sensor intercomparison; atmospheric measurements

Citation Formats

Barbieri, Lindsay, Kral, Stephan T., Bailey, Sean C. C., Frazier, Amy E., Jacob, Jamey D., Reuder, Joachim, Brus, David, Chilson, Phillip B., Crick, Christopher, Detweiler, Carrick, Doddi, Abhiram, Elston, Jack, Foroutan, Hosein, González-Rocha, Javier, Greene, Brian R., Guzman, Marcelo I., Houston, Adam L., Islam, Ashraful, Kemppinen, Osku, Lawrence, Dale, Pillar-Little, Elizabeth A., Ross, Shane D., Sama, Michael P., Schmale III, David G., Schuyler, Travis, Shankar, Ajay, Smith, Suzanne W., Waugh, Sean, Dixon, Cory, Borenstein, Steve, and de Boer, Gijs. Intercomparison of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Measurements for Atmospheric Science during the LAPSE-RATE Campaign. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.3390/s19092179.
Barbieri, Lindsay, Kral, Stephan T., Bailey, Sean C. C., Frazier, Amy E., Jacob, Jamey D., Reuder, Joachim, Brus, David, Chilson, Phillip B., Crick, Christopher, Detweiler, Carrick, Doddi, Abhiram, Elston, Jack, Foroutan, Hosein, González-Rocha, Javier, Greene, Brian R., Guzman, Marcelo I., Houston, Adam L., Islam, Ashraful, Kemppinen, Osku, Lawrence, Dale, Pillar-Little, Elizabeth A., Ross, Shane D., Sama, Michael P., Schmale III, David G., Schuyler, Travis, Shankar, Ajay, Smith, Suzanne W., Waugh, Sean, Dixon, Cory, Borenstein, Steve, & de Boer, Gijs. Intercomparison of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Measurements for Atmospheric Science during the LAPSE-RATE Campaign. United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19092179
Barbieri, Lindsay, Kral, Stephan T., Bailey, Sean C. C., Frazier, Amy E., Jacob, Jamey D., Reuder, Joachim, Brus, David, Chilson, Phillip B., Crick, Christopher, Detweiler, Carrick, Doddi, Abhiram, Elston, Jack, Foroutan, Hosein, González-Rocha, Javier, Greene, Brian R., Guzman, Marcelo I., Houston, Adam L., Islam, Ashraful, Kemppinen, Osku, Lawrence, Dale, Pillar-Little, Elizabeth A., Ross, Shane D., Sama, Michael P., Schmale III, David G., Schuyler, Travis, Shankar, Ajay, Smith, Suzanne W., Waugh, Sean, Dixon, Cory, Borenstein, Steve, and de Boer, Gijs. 2019. "Intercomparison of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Measurements for Atmospheric Science during the LAPSE-RATE Campaign". United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19092179. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1613040.
@article{osti_1613040,
title = {Intercomparison of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Measurements for Atmospheric Science during the LAPSE-RATE Campaign},
author = {Barbieri, Lindsay and Kral, Stephan T. and Bailey, Sean C. C. and Frazier, Amy E. and Jacob, Jamey D. and Reuder, Joachim and Brus, David and Chilson, Phillip B. and Crick, Christopher and Detweiler, Carrick and Doddi, Abhiram and Elston, Jack and Foroutan, Hosein and González-Rocha, Javier and Greene, Brian R. and Guzman, Marcelo I. and Houston, Adam L. and Islam, Ashraful and Kemppinen, Osku and Lawrence, Dale and Pillar-Little, Elizabeth A. and Ross, Shane D. and Sama, Michael P. and Schmale III, David G. and Schuyler, Travis and Shankar, Ajay and Smith, Suzanne W. and Waugh, Sean and Dixon, Cory and Borenstein, Steve and de Boer, Gijs},
abstractNote = {Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) are rapidly transforming atmospheric research. With the advancement of the development and application of these systems, improving knowledge of best practices for accurate measurement is critical for achieving scientific goals. We present results from an intercomparison of atmospheric measurement data from the Lower Atmospheric Process Studies at Elevation—a Remotely piloted Aircraft Team Experiment (LAPSE-RATE) field campaign. We evaluate a total of 38 individual sUAS with 23 unique sensor and platform configurations using a meteorological tower for reference measurements. We assess precision, bias, and time response of sUAS measurements of temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Most sUAS measurements show broad agreement with the reference, particularly temperature and wind speed, with mean value differences of 1.6 ± 2.6 ° C and 0.22 ± 0.59 m/s for all sUAS, respectively. sUAS platform and sensor configurations were found to contribute significantly to measurement accuracy. Sensor configurations, which included proper aspiration and radiation shielding of sensors, were found to provide the most accurate thermodynamic measurements (temperature and relative humidity), whereas sonic anemometers on multirotor platforms provided the most accurate wind measurements (horizontal speed and direction). We contribute both a characterization and assessment of sUAS for measuring atmospheric parameters, and identify important challenges and opportunities for improving scientific measurements with sUAS.},
doi = {10.3390/s19092179},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1613040}, journal = {Sensors},
issn = {1424-8220},
number = 9,
volume = 19,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {5}
}

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Cited by: 15 works
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Works referenced in this record:

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Estimating the Vertical Structure of Weather-Induced Mission Costs for Small UAS
journal, June 2019


Wind sensing with drone-mounted wind lidars: proof of concept
journal, January 2020