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

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-132
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Impact of pitch angle fluctuations on airborne lidar sensing ahead along the flight direction
Alexander Sergeevich Gurvich1 and Victor Alexeevich Kulikov1,2 1Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Science, 3 Pyzhevskii pereulok str., Moscow, Russia, 119017
2University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH, USA 45469
Abstract. Airborne lidar sensing ahead along the flight direction can serve for notification of clear air turbulence (CAT) and help to prevent injuries or fatal air accidents. The validation of this concept was presented in the framework of the DELICAT (DEmonstration of LIdar based CAT detection) project. However, the difficulties encountered during the processing of DELICAT data indicated the need of a better understanding the observational errors due to geometrical factors. In this paper, we discuss possible error sources imminent to this technique, related to fluctuations of the flight parameters, which may lead to an incorrect estimation of the turbulence intensity. We analyze the variations of backscattered lidar signal caused by fluctuations of the most important ahead sensing flight parameter, the pitch angle. The fluctuation values considered in the paper correspond to the error limits of the compensational gyro-platform used in the civil aviation. Uncompensated pitch angle fluctuations in the presence of aerosol concentration variations can lead to noticeable signal variations that can be mistakenly attributed to wind shear, turbulence or fast evolution of aerosol layer. We formulate the criteria that allow the recognition of signal variations caused by pitch angle fluctuations. Influence of these fluctuations is shown to be stronger for aerosol variations on smaller vertical scales. An example of DELICAT observations indicating a noticeable pitch angle fluctuation impact is presented.

Citation: Gurvich, A. S. and Kulikov, V. A.: Impact of pitch angle fluctuations on airborne lidar sensing ahead along the flight direction, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-132, in review, 2017.
Alexander Sergeevich Gurvich and Victor Alexeevich Kulikov
Alexander Sergeevich Gurvich and Victor Alexeevich Kulikov
Alexander Sergeevich Gurvich and Victor Alexeevich Kulikov

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Short summary
We show that pitch angle fluctuations which are compensated within the error limits of gyro-stabilized platforms can produce significant signal fluctuations in airborne LIDAR measurements and thus lead to wrong estimations of turbulence strength and aerosol concentration. The simple criterion to distinguish and exclude this signal noise is suggested.
We show that pitch angle fluctuations which are compensated within the error limits of...
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