Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Keri Nicoll1, R.Giles Harrison1 and Greg Roberts2, (1)University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom, (2)Météo-France Toulouse, Toulouse Cedex 01, France
Observations of in-situ cloud properties are an essential aspect of cloud microphysics studies. UAVs readily provide a platform from which high resolution cloud measurements can be made, both in the vertical and horizontal directions. Currently, however, one limiting factor in the use of UAVs for cloud studies is the lack of availability of lightweight, low power sensors. This work describes a number of small, disposable sensors for cloud droplet detection and electrical charge measurements, which have been flown on both free balloon and UAV platforms. The cloud droplet detector utilises optical reflection, combining a low power, high brightness LED as the optical source with a semiconductor photodiode as the detector. During daylight conditions, the photodiode detector also provides a measurement of broadband solar radiation, allowing an estimate of extinction within the cloud to be derived. The current consumption of the sensor is <30mA, and it has worked reliably in both day and night time conditions. Multiple flights of these sensors onboard UAVs with wingspan <2m (including Funjet and Easystar aircraft), made from southern France through a variety of cloud types will be presented.