A Bird's-Eye View: Development of an Operational ARM Unmanned Aerial Capability for Atmospheric Research in Arctic Alaska

de Boer, Gijs ; Ivey, Mark ; Schmid, Beat ; Lawrence, Dale ; Dexheimer, Darielle ; Mei, Fan ; Hubbe, John ; Bendure, Albert ; Hardesty, Jasper ; Shupe, Matthew D. ; McComiskey, Allison ; Telg, Hagen ; Schmitt, Carl ; Matrosov, Sergey Y. ; Brooks, Ian ; Creamean, Jessie ; Solomon, Amy ; Turner, David D. ; Williams, Christopher ; Maahn, Maximilian ; Argrow, Brian ; Palo, Scott ; Long, Charles N. ; Gao, Ru-Shan ; Mather, James

Année de publication
Thorough understanding of aerosols, clouds, boundary layer structure, and radiation is required to improve the representation of the Arctic atmosphere in weather forecasting and climate models. To develop such understanding, new perspectives are needed to provide details on the vertical structure and spatial variability of key atmospheric properties, along with information over difficult-to-reach surfaces such as newly forming sea ice. Over the last three years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has supported various flight campaigns using unmanned aircraft systems [UASs, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones] and tethered balloon systems (TBSs) at Oliktok Point, Alaska. These activities have featured in situ measurements of the thermodynamic state, turbulence, radiation, aerosol properties, cloud microphysics, and turbulent fluxes to provide a detailed characterization of the lower atmosphere. Alongside a suite of active and passive ground-based sensors and radiosondes deployed by the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program through the third ARM Mobile Facility (AMF-3), these flight activities demonstrate the ability of such platforms to provide critically needed information. In addition to providing new and unique datasets, lessons learned during initial campaigns have assisted in the development of an exciting new community resource.

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