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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
18 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Quantitative analysis of the radiation error for aerial coiled fiber–optic Distributed Temperature Sensing deployments using reinforcing fabric as support structure
Armin Sigmund1, Lena Pfister1, Chadi Sayde2, and Christoph K. Thomas1 1Micrometeorology Group, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
2Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Abstract. In recent years the spatial resolution of fiber-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) was enhanced in various studies by helically coiling the fiber around a support structure. While solid polyvinyl chloride tubes are an appropriate support structure under water they can produce considerable errors in aerial deployments due to the radiative heating or cooling. We used meshed reinforcing fabric as a novel support structure to measure high-resolution vertical temperature profiles over several meters height above a meadow and within and above a small lake. This study aimed at quantifying the radiation error for the coiled DTS system and the contribution caused by the novel support structure via heat conduction. A quantitative and comprehensive energy balance model is proposed and tested, which includes the shortwave radiative, longwave radiative, convective and conductive heat transfers and allows for modeling fiber temperatures as well as quantifying the radiation error. The sensitivity of the energy balance model to the conduction error caused by the reinforcing fabric is discussed in terms of its albedo, emissivity and thermal conductivity. Modeled radiation errors amounted to −1.0 and 1.3 K at 2 m height but ranged up to 2.8 K for very high incoming shortwave radiation (1000 J s−1 m−2) and very weak winds (0.1 m s−1). After correcting for the radiation error by means of the presented energy balance the Root Mean Square Error between DTS and reference air temperatures from an aspirated resistance thermometer or an ultrasonic anemometer was 0.42 and 0.26 K above the meadow and the lake respectively. Conduction between reinforcing fabric and fiber cable had a small effect on fiber temperatures (< 0.18 K). Only for locations where the fiber-optic cable attached to the reinforcing fabric touched the plastic rings supporting the fabric significant temperature artifacts of up to 2.5 K were observed. Overall, the reinforcing fabric offers several advantages over conventional support structures published to date in literature as it minimizes both radiation and conduction errors.

Citation: Sigmund, A., Pfister, L., Sayde, C., and Thomas, C. K.: Quantitative analysis of the radiation error for aerial coiled fiber–optic Distributed Temperature Sensing deployments using reinforcing fabric as support structure, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-266, in review, 2016.
Armin Sigmund et al.
Armin Sigmund et al.


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