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  • Author or Editor: C. A. Friehe x
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E. N. Brown, C. A. Friehe, and D. H. Lenschow


An air-motion sensing technique is described for measurement of attack and sideslip angles and dynamicpressure. The sensing probe consists of an array of five pressure holes in the standard radome of a twin-jetresearch aircraft. Comparisons are made with air motion measurements (angle of attack and dynamic pressure) obtained from a conventional differential pressure flow angle sensor at the tip of a nose boom 1.5fuselage diameters ahead of the aircraft body. The results indicate that the radome system works well downto scale sizes slightly larger than the fuselage diameter. (Finer scale measurements were limited by pressuretransducer response.) An insitu calibration technique is described for the determination of the empiricalradome angle-pressure difference sensitivity factor k, as a function of aircraft Mach number. The value ofk, so determined at low Mach numbers, is in approximate agreement with that calculated for potential flowfor a spherical radome. The in-situ technique applied to the conventional nose boom sensor indicates thatthe value of k based on wind tunnel calibrations may not apply for the present installation.

The time response of the conventional pressure system on the NCAR Sabreliner twin-jet aircraft is estimated on the basis of an in-flight comparison between the conventional pressure probe and a fast-responsegust probe flown together on a nose boom. Comparison of the power spectra of the conventional and radomeangles of attack for a traverse in boundary-layer turbulence indicates that the response of the radome systemis superior to the conventional system due to the shorter pressure lines that can be used.

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E. N. Brown, M. A. Shapiro, P. J. Kennedy, and C. A. Friehe


The aeronautical use of electronic altimeters is to measure the absolute clearance of an aircraft above the earth's surface. In the support of atmospheric research, accurate high-range altimeters, in conjunction with accurate static pressure and navigation data, also can provide a means for measuring the heights of constant-pressure surfaces. From the derivatives of the measurements, surface slopes and dynamical quantities such as the geostrophic wind may be obtained. Although the technique is easiest over oceans or large bodies of water, it can be successfully used over land, if detailed terrain heights are known.

This paper describes the operational and research use of a high-altitude pulse-type radar altimeter system installed on the NCAR Sabreliner for jet stream research. An error analysis for “D-value”, derived from radar altitude and pressure measurements, gave an estimated error of ±6.0 m, which surpasses measurements from conventional balloon soundings or satellite-derived height analyses. For a case study of jet stream dynamics, the above error in D-value corresponded to an error of ±5% in the computed geostrophic wind.

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