Calibration and Quality Assurance of an Airborne Turbulence Probe in an Aeronautical Wind Tunnel

Ronald Dobosy Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA/ARL, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Edward J. Dumas Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA/ARL, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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David L. Senn Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA/ARL, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Bruce Baker Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA/ARL, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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David S. Sayres School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Mark F. Witinski School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Claire Healy Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Jason Munster Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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James G. Anderson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Abstract

The Best Aircraft Turbulence (BAT) probe is used by multiple research groups worldwide. To promote an accurate interpretation of the data obtained from the probe’s unusual nine-port design, a detailed understanding of the BAT probe’s function along with a characterization and minimization of its systematic anomalies is necessary. This paper describes recent tests to enhance understanding of the probe’s behavior. The tests completed in the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) built on earlier findings at Purdue University. Overall the true-vertical wind relative to the probe was found to have a systematic anomaly of about 10%–15%, an acceptable value borne out by considerable field experience and further reducible by modeling and removing. However, significant departure from theoretical behavior was found, making detailed generalization to other BAT probes still inadvisable. Based on these discoveries, recommendations are made for further experiments to explain the anomalous behavior, reduce the systematic anomaly, and generalize the characterizations.

Corresponding author address: R. J. Dobosy, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA/ARL, Oak Ridge, TN 37830. E-mail: ron.dobosy@noaa.gov

Abstract

The Best Aircraft Turbulence (BAT) probe is used by multiple research groups worldwide. To promote an accurate interpretation of the data obtained from the probe’s unusual nine-port design, a detailed understanding of the BAT probe’s function along with a characterization and minimization of its systematic anomalies is necessary. This paper describes recent tests to enhance understanding of the probe’s behavior. The tests completed in the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) built on earlier findings at Purdue University. Overall the true-vertical wind relative to the probe was found to have a systematic anomaly of about 10%–15%, an acceptable value borne out by considerable field experience and further reducible by modeling and removing. However, significant departure from theoretical behavior was found, making detailed generalization to other BAT probes still inadvisable. Based on these discoveries, recommendations are made for further experiments to explain the anomalous behavior, reduce the systematic anomaly, and generalize the characterizations.

Corresponding author address: R. J. Dobosy, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA/ARL, Oak Ridge, TN 37830. E-mail: ron.dobosy@noaa.gov
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