Airborne meteorological measurements have a long tradition and history. The type of aerial vehicles that has been used for meteorological purposes ranges from balloons to small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to large research aircraft. Glider aircraft have also been used in the past to measure winds as well as temperature and humidity. Their big advantage is the flexible use in lower altitudes and lower operational costs compared to larger research aircraft. However, in conditions of strong gravity waves, caused for example by flow over mountains, it is feasible to reach comparatively high altitudes of 10 km and more with glider aircraft and travel large distances. To study the flow and atmospheric conditions during such flights, a meteorological measurement system has been developed consisting of a five-hole-probe for flow measurement, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), as well as a temperature and humidity sensor, which allows measuring the three-dimensional wind vector including turbulent fluctuations with a resolution of a few meters only. These kinds of measurements on a glider aircraft pose some challenges on hardware, data processing and analysis which should be addressed in this work. The measurement system will be deployed in the SouthTRAC campaign which is focusing on the investigation of composition and transport of the upper troposphere / lower stratosphere (UTLS) in the southern hemisphere. The role of mountain waves generated by the Andes in Southern America should particularly be studied with the glider aircraft measurements.
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Institute of Atmospheric Physics
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