Aerodynamic Effects on Wind Turbulence Measurements with Research Aircraft

John A. Kalogiros Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

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Qing Wang Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

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Abstract

Flow distortion is a major issue in the measurement of wind turbulence with gust probes mounted on a nose boom, at the radome, or under the wing of research aircraft. In this paper, the effects both of the propellers of a turboprop aircraft and of the aircraft vortex system on the pressure and wind velocity measurements near the nose of the aircraft are examined. It is shown that, for a turboprop aircraft, the sensors mounted near the nose are affected directly (slipstream) or indirectly (lift increase) by the propellers. The propeller effects are more significant for pressure sensors located ahead of the propellers on the fuselage and are less significant for the small local flow angles measured at the nose of the aircraft. The first case is clearly realized during in-flight calibration maneuvers performed by a turboprop aircraft. A major flow distortion, which seriously affects the vertical wind velocity measurements near the nose of an aircraft, is the upwash induced mainly by the wing-bound vortex. Also, low energy of the vertical wind component in the inertial subrange for scales larger than the fuselage diameter is usually observed in aircraft measurements. This is shown to be the result of not taking into account the decrease of the upwash correction with eddy frequency (or no need for such a correction in the inertial subrange) caused by the aerodynamic delay and the response of the wing vortex to turbulence. The level of energy in the inertial subrange of the vertical wind component is significant because it is commonly used for the estimation of the dissipation rate of turbulence kinetic energy. A method to estimate this frequency variable correction and correct the spectra or the time series of the estimated vertical wind component is described. Data from low-level flight legs with a Twin Otter aircraft show that this correction may result in about a 20% correction of the variance of the vertical wind component and a 5% correction of the vertical turbulent fluxes.

Current affiliation: Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece

Corresponding author address: Dr. J. Kalogiros, Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, I. Metaxa and Vas. Pavlou, Lofos Koufou, GR 15236, P. Penteli, Athens, Greece. Email: jkalog@meteo.noa.gr

Abstract

Flow distortion is a major issue in the measurement of wind turbulence with gust probes mounted on a nose boom, at the radome, or under the wing of research aircraft. In this paper, the effects both of the propellers of a turboprop aircraft and of the aircraft vortex system on the pressure and wind velocity measurements near the nose of the aircraft are examined. It is shown that, for a turboprop aircraft, the sensors mounted near the nose are affected directly (slipstream) or indirectly (lift increase) by the propellers. The propeller effects are more significant for pressure sensors located ahead of the propellers on the fuselage and are less significant for the small local flow angles measured at the nose of the aircraft. The first case is clearly realized during in-flight calibration maneuvers performed by a turboprop aircraft. A major flow distortion, which seriously affects the vertical wind velocity measurements near the nose of an aircraft, is the upwash induced mainly by the wing-bound vortex. Also, low energy of the vertical wind component in the inertial subrange for scales larger than the fuselage diameter is usually observed in aircraft measurements. This is shown to be the result of not taking into account the decrease of the upwash correction with eddy frequency (or no need for such a correction in the inertial subrange) caused by the aerodynamic delay and the response of the wing vortex to turbulence. The level of energy in the inertial subrange of the vertical wind component is significant because it is commonly used for the estimation of the dissipation rate of turbulence kinetic energy. A method to estimate this frequency variable correction and correct the spectra or the time series of the estimated vertical wind component is described. Data from low-level flight legs with a Twin Otter aircraft show that this correction may result in about a 20% correction of the variance of the vertical wind component and a 5% correction of the vertical turbulent fluxes.

Current affiliation: Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece

Corresponding author address: Dr. J. Kalogiros, Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, I. Metaxa and Vas. Pavlou, Lofos Koufou, GR 15236, P. Penteli, Athens, Greece. Email: jkalog@meteo.noa.gr

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