Remote sensing and in situ payloads for atmosphere-ocean and earth observations aboard a Manta Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Several new payloads have been developed for use on the NOAA/PMEL Manta UAS. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) has improved its visible and infrared imaging payload to provide precise measurements of ice/snow/ocean surface temperatures accurate to 0.1°C. LDEO has also developed a number of new payloads that include: i) hyperspectral aberration-corrected imaging spectrometers to measure VNIR (400-1000 nm) and NIR (900-1700 nm) spectral radiance of the upper-ocean and sea ice to determine ocean color, ice-age distributions and ice-surface type; ii) up- and down-looking hemispheric pyrgeometers and pyranometers to measure the net longwave and net shortwave radiation for ice-ocean albedo studies with an onboard visible camera to determine the sea ice fraction and whitecapping; iii) meteorological measurements of the turbulent momentum, sensible, and latent fluxes as well as wave height, ice freeboard, and surface roughness with a LIDAR; iv) four dropsonde-microbuoys (DMB) deployed from the Manta. The DMB measures temperature, pressure, and relative humidity as it descends through the atmosphere. Once it lands on the ocean’s surface, it deploys a string of sensors that measures temperature and salinity of the upper three meters of the ocean. The ocean sensors telemeter data back to the UAS on subsequent flights. The DMB can also be dropped on an ice flow to measure the rate of the ice movement. The DMB collect and store data and then transmit the data back to the UAS when it comes overhead. The NOAA/PMEL aerosol payload has been expanded to include a printed optical particle spectrometer to obtain aerosol size distributions and an upward looking radiometer to measure radiant flux densities through aerosol layers. Details of these payloads and example data will be reported.