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The Eyewall-Penetration Reconnaissance Observation of Typhoon Longwang (2005) with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Aerosonde

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
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Abstract

In this paper, a successful eye-penetration reconnaissance flight by an unmanned aerial vehicle, Aerosonde, into Typhoon Longwang (2005) and the preliminary analyses of the collected data are presented. The 10-h flight is diagnosed through four flight legs. The wind field measured along flight leg 1 provides the tangential and radial wind profiles from the outer perimeter into the eye of the typhoon at the 700-hPa layer. A vertical sounding was taken in the eye along flight leg 2 and the derived surface pressure in the eyewall is close to the estimates made by the local weather agencies. Along flight leg 3, the strongest winds during the whole flight mission were measured. These in situ wind measurements by Aerosonde are consistent with the winds observed by the Hua-lien Doppler weather radar. The maximum 10-min (1 min) wind along flight leg 3 when Aerosonde was flying around the eyewall region is 58.6 m s−1 (62 m s−1). The maximum sustained surface wind derived from this maximum wind speed is also close to the estimates made by the local weather agencies. In conclusion, this successful mission demonstrates that the Aerosonde with a trained crew can play a role in severe weather monitoring and the Aerosonde’s measurement can serve as an independent check for Doppler radar wind retrieval.

Corresponding author address: Po-Hsiung Lin, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan. Email: polin@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

In this paper, a successful eye-penetration reconnaissance flight by an unmanned aerial vehicle, Aerosonde, into Typhoon Longwang (2005) and the preliminary analyses of the collected data are presented. The 10-h flight is diagnosed through four flight legs. The wind field measured along flight leg 1 provides the tangential and radial wind profiles from the outer perimeter into the eye of the typhoon at the 700-hPa layer. A vertical sounding was taken in the eye along flight leg 2 and the derived surface pressure in the eyewall is close to the estimates made by the local weather agencies. Along flight leg 3, the strongest winds during the whole flight mission were measured. These in situ wind measurements by Aerosonde are consistent with the winds observed by the Hua-lien Doppler weather radar. The maximum 10-min (1 min) wind along flight leg 3 when Aerosonde was flying around the eyewall region is 58.6 m s−1 (62 m s−1). The maximum sustained surface wind derived from this maximum wind speed is also close to the estimates made by the local weather agencies. In conclusion, this successful mission demonstrates that the Aerosonde with a trained crew can play a role in severe weather monitoring and the Aerosonde’s measurement can serve as an independent check for Doppler radar wind retrieval.

Corresponding author address: Po-Hsiung Lin, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan. Email: polin@ntu.edu.tw

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