Original Paper

Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 15-26

First online:

Atmospheric profiling with the UAS SUMO: a new perspective for the evaluation of fine-scale atmospheric models

  • Stephanie MayerAffiliated withGeophysical Institute, University of Bergen Email author 
  • , Anne SandvikAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Research
  • , Marius O. JonassenAffiliated withGeophysical Institute, University of Bergen
  • , Joachim ReuderAffiliated withGeophysical Institute, University of Bergen

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For the first time, unmanned aerial system measurements collected by the small unmanned meteorological observer (SUMO) are used to evaluate atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) parameterization schemes embedded in the Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting model (AR-WRF). Observation sites were located in the vicinity of the almost idealized shaped mountain Hofsjökull, Central Iceland. SUMO profiles provided temperature, relative humidity and wind data to maximum heights of 3 km above ground. Two cases are investigated, one with calm wind conditions and development of a convective ABL and one with moderate winds and gravity waves over Hofsjökull. For the high-resolution simulation with AR-WRF, three two-way nested domains are chosen with a grid size of 9, 3 and 1 km. During its first meteorological test, SUMO has proved its great value for the investigation of the diurnal evolution of the ABL and the identification of mesoscale features residing above the ABL, such as subsidence.


Unmanned aerial system ABL Fine-scale numerical simulation ABL parameterization schemes WRF Hofsjökull Central Iceland