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Chequamegon Heterogenous Ecosystem Energy-Balance Study (CHEESEHEAD’19)


The NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD), supported by the UAS Program Office, is participating in the Chequamegon Heterogenous Ecosystem Energy-balance Study Enabled by a High-Density Extensive Array of Detectors 2019 (CHEESEHEAD’19) campaign near Park Falls, Wisconsin (Figure 1). The aim of CHEESEHEAD’19 is to study interactions and feedbacks between the land surface and atmosphere and to improve how these interactions are represented in weather and climate models.

Fig 1. Michael Buban (left, NOAA/ATDD and CIMMS), Nichole Chappelle (middle, NOAA AOC), and Edward Dumas (NOAA/ATDD and ORAU) prior to launch of the DJI S-1000 during the first CHEESEHEAD campaign.

During three week-long campaigns in July, August, and September 2019, NOAA ATDD is operating two small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). ATDD is using a DJI S-1000 (Figure 2) to obtain in-situ temperature and moisture measurements, along with land surface temperature measurements from a downward-pointing infrared camera, in the vicinity of 30-m (100-ft) towers installed in the CHEESEHEAD domain by partners from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) (Figure 3). These towers are instrumented with a myriad of instruments to sample different meteorological variables (e.g., temperature, moisture, and wind), as well as exchanges of heat and moisture between the land surface and overlying atmosphere. These tower measurements, combined with the sUAS measurements, are then used to estimate the variability in heat exchange in the region surrounding the tower. Within a ~ 500 x 500 m area surrounding the tower, there is significant variability in temperature, with differences on the order of 10 °C over this area (Figure 3).

Fig 2. DJI S-1000 flies adjacent to one of the meteorological towers installed by collaborators from the National Center for Atmospheric Research during the first CHEESEHEAD campaign.
Fig 3. Temperature, potential temperature, dew point, and wind obtained from the Meteomatics SSE between 1515 and 1645 UTC 12 July 2019 adjacent to one of the NCAR flux towers.

In addition to the DJI S-1000, ATDD is also operating a Meteomatics SSE (Figure 4) during CHEESEHEAD. This platform is used for obtaining vertical profiles of temperature, moisture, and wind. In the example from the morning of 12 July, ATDD performed 4 flights adjacent to one of the NCAR meteorological towers. These flights show the growth and evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer (i.e., the lowest part of the atmosphere directly affected by the surface), as well as increase in near-surface moisture (Figure 5). During the August and September CHEESEHEAD campaigns, ATDD will fly the Meteomatics adjacent to the NOAA Global Monitoring Division (GMD) 447-m Park Falls tall tower, which is outfitted with an array of meteorological measurements at multiple heights, to evaluate wind speeds and wind directions derived from the Meteomatics.

Fig 4. Meteomatics Meteodrone SSE sUAS vehicle. Note the two instrument tubes that house the scientific instruments for measuring Temperature and Humidity.
Fig 5. Land surface temperatures obtained from the DJI S-1000 between 1552 and 1606 UTC on 10 July 2019 in the vicinity of one of the NCAR flux towers.