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Open AccessArticle

Estimation of Sensible Heat Flux and Atmospheric Boundary Layer Height Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

1
Geo-Sciences Institute, Pukyong National University, 45, Yongso-Ro, Nam-Gu, Busan 48513, Korea
2
Department of Environmental Atmospheric Sciences, Pukyong National University, 45, Yongso-Ro, Nam-Gu, Busan 48513, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070363
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 30 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions)
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Abstract

In this work, sensible heat flux estimated using a bulk transfer method was validated with a three-dimensional ultrasonic anemometer or surface layer scintillometer at various sites. Results indicate that it remains challenging to obtain temperature and wind speed at an appropriate reference height. To overcome this, alternative observations using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were considered. UAV-based wind speed and sensible heat flux were indirectly estimated and atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) height was then derived using the sensible heat flux data. UAV-observed air temperature was measured by attaching a temperature sensor 40 cm above the rotary-wing of the UAV, and UAV-based wind speed was estimated using attitude data (pitch, roll, and yaw angles) recorded using the UAV’s inertial measurement unit. UAV-based wind speed was close to the automatic weather system-observed wind speed, within an error range of approximately 10%. UAV-based sensible heat flux estimated from the bulk transfer method corresponded with sensible heat flux determined using the eddy correlation method, within an error of approximately 20%. A linear relationship was observed between the normalized UAV-based sensible heat flux and radiosonde-based normalized ABL height. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); inertial measurement unit (IMU); bulk transfer method; heat transfer coefficient; sensible heat flux; atmospheric boundary layer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); inertial measurement unit (IMU); bulk transfer method; heat transfer coefficient; sensible heat flux; atmospheric boundary layer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kim, M.-S.; Kwon, B.H. Estimation of Sensible Heat Flux and Atmospheric Boundary Layer Height Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 363.

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