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

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doi:10.5194/amt-2016-312
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 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.
Validating Precision Estimates in Horizontal Wind Measurements from a Doppler Lidar
Rob K. Newsom1, W. Alan Brewer2, James M. Wilczak2, Daniel E. Wolfe2,3, Steven P. Oncley4, and Julie K. Lundquist5,6 1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, 99352, USA
2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
3Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences , Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, 80307, USA
5Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309, USA
6National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 80401, USA
Abstract. Results from a recent field campaign are used to assess the accuracy of wind speed and direction precision estimates produced by a Doppler lidar wind retrieval algorithm. The algorithm, which is based on the traditional velocity-azimuth-display (VAD) technique, estimates the wind speed and direction measurement precision using standard error propagation techniques. For this study, the lidar was configured to execute an 8-beam plan-position-indicator (PPI) scan once every 12 minutes during the 6 week deployment period. Several wind retrieval trials were conducted using different schemes for estimating the uncertainty in the radial velocity measurements. The resulting wind speed and direction precision estimates were compared to differences in wind speed and direction between the VAD algorithm and sonic anemometer measurements taken on a nearby 300-m tower.

All trials produced qualitatively similar wind fields with negligible bias, but substantially different wind speed and direction precision fields. The most accurate wind speed and direction precisions were obtained when the radial velocity uncertainty was determined by direct calculation of radial velocity standard deviation along each pointing direction and range gate of the PPI scan. By contrast, setting the radial velocity uncertainty to the radial velocity precision (thereby ignoring turbulence effects) resulted in wind speed and direction precisions that were biased far too low and poor indicators of data quality.


Citation: Newsom, R. K., Brewer, W. A., Wilczak, J. M., Wolfe, D. E., Oncley, S. P., and Lundquist, J. K.: Validating Precision Estimates in Horizontal Wind Measurements from a Doppler Lidar, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-312, in review, 2016.
Rob K. Newsom et al.
Rob K. Newsom et al.

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