Numerical weather monitoring is used for more than simply predicting the weather.
For Alex Clark, Senior Engineer at AEgis Technology Group, numerical weather modeling or atmospheric profiling, especially gathering data below 120 meters, is an essential part of work Clark and his team are conducting on behalf of the Space Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and their interest in propagating high-energy lasers in lower earth atmosphere. By estimating the Refractive-Index Structure Coefficient or optical turbulence using numerical weather modeling predictions, they hope to better estimate high-energy system effectiveness.
The goal is to measure temperature at multiple places at the same instant in time. In knowing differential temperature from node to node they were able to estimate atmospheric optimal. To accomplish this Clark deployed a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS or drone) tethered adjacent to the tower. The sUAS was equipped with a sonic anemometer to capture data necessary to determine optical turbulence and boundary layers.
The anemometer selected by Clark and his team as the best fit for this project was the TriSonica™ Mini Wind and Weather Sensor. Chosen for its compact form factor and light weight, the TriSonica™ Mini was used to measure wind speed, temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, as well as UVW wind direction in five to 10 meter increments.
“In the real world, we’re trying to limit the size of our airframe, limit the SWaP (Size, Weight and Power), and still collect accurate and meaningful data. Because of its SWaP attributes, the TriSonica Mini is the perfect complement to our payload package.”
AEgis Technology Group markets a complete and customizable meteorological sensor suite (incorporating the TriSonica Mini) specifically designed for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drones). View the data sheet for the Atmospheric Characterization Payload (WP-V2 ACP) here.
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