Development and Deployment of Unmanned Aircraft Instrumentation for Measuring Quantities Related to Land Surface-Atmosphere Interactions

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Gijs de Boer1, Dale Lawrence2, Jack Elston2, Brian M. Argrow2, Scott E Palo2, Nathan Curry2, William Finamore2, James Mack2, Gabriel LoDolce2, Beat Schmid3 and Charles N. Long4, (1)University of Colorado at Boulder, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, (4)Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, United States
Use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in evaluation of geophysical parameters is expanding at a rapid rate. Despite limitation imposed by necessary regulations related to operation of UAS in the federal airspace, several groups have developed and deployed a variety of UAS and the associated sensors to make measurements of the atmosphere, land surface, ocean and cryosphere. Included in this grouping is work completed at the University of Colorado – Boulder, which has an extended history of operating UAS and expanding their use in the earth sciences. Collaborative projects between the department of Aerospace Engineering, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Centers for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have resulted in deployment of UAS to a variety of environments, including the Arctic.

In this presentation, I will give an overview of some recent efforts lead by the University of Colorado to develop and deploy a variety of UAS. Work presented will emphasize recent campaigns and instrument development and testing related to understanding the land-atmosphere interface. Specifically, information on systems established for evaluating surface radiation (including albedo), turbulent exchange of water vapor, heat and gasses, and aerosol processes will be presented, along with information on the use of terrestrial ecosystem sensing to provide critical measurments for the evaluation of lower atmospheric flux measurements.