An autonomous Doppler Sodar wind profiling system

An autonomous Doppler sodar wind profiling system has been designed, built, tested, and then deployed for 2 years at a remote site in Coats Land, Antarctica. The system is designed around a commercially available phased-array sodar (a Scintec flat-array sodar, FAS64) and powered from five modular power system units. Each power unit comprises two batteries, two photovoltaic solar panels, and two vertical axis wind generators, plus charging control and isolation circuitry. The sodar’s main processing unit is located at the antenna, but is controlled from a manned research station 50 km distant, in real time, by a line-of-sight UHF radio link. Data from an integral automatic weather station (AWS) are also transmitted over the radio link, allowing meteorologically informed decisions on whether or not to operate the Doppler sodar. Over the 2-yr experiment dozens of sounding episodes, lasting from a few hours to a few days, were obtained. Successful soundings were obtained in temperatures down to −33°C, and wind speeds up to 12 m s−1. In general, the wind data quality was good, but the range was disappointing, probably as a result of the strongly stable atmospheric conditions that were experienced. The wind profiling system that is described has been used to obtain the first remote wintertime observations of katabatic winds over the Antarctic continent.


Publication status:
Authors: Anderson, Philip S., Ladkin, Russell S., Renfrew, Ian A.

1 January, 2005
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology / 22
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