Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 83–112 | Cite as

Towards a Validation of Scintillometer Measurements: The LITFASS-2009 Experiment

  • Frank Beyrich
  • Jens Bange
  • Oscar K. Hartogensis
  • Siegfried Raasch
  • Miranda Braam
  • Daniëlle van Dinther
  • Doreen Gräf
  • Bram van Kesteren
  • Aline C. van den Kroonenberg
  • Björn Maronga
  • Sabrina Martin
  • Arnold F. Moene


Scintillometry has been increasingly used over the last decade for the experimental determination of area-averaged turbulent fluxes at a horizontal scale of a few kilometres. Nevertheless, a number of assumptions in the scintillometer data processing and interpretation still call for a thorough evaluation, in particular over heterogeneous terrain. Moreover, a validation of the path-averaged structure parameters derived from scintillometer data (and forming the basis for the flux calculations) by independent measurements is still missing. To achieve this, the LITFASS-2009 field campaign has been performed around the Meteorological Observatory Lindenberg – Richard-Aßmann-Observatory of the German Meteorological Service (DWD) in July 2009. The experiment combined tower-based in-situ turbulence measurements, field-scale laser scintillometers, long-range optical (large-aperture) and microwave scintillometers, and airborne turbulence measurements using an automatically operating unmanned aircraft. The paper describes the project design and strategy, and discusses first results. Daytime near-surface values of the temperature structure parameter, \({C_{T}^{2}}\), over different types of farmland differ by more than one order of magnitude in their dependence on the type and status of the vegetation. Considerable spatial variability in \({C_{T}^{2}}\) was also found along the flight legs at heights between 50 and 100 m. However, it appeared difficult to separate the effects of heterogeneity from the temporal variability of the turbulence fields. Aircraft measurements and scintillometer data agreed in magnitude with respect to the temporal variation of the path-averaged \({C_{T}^{2}}\) values during the diurnal cycle. The decrease of \({C_{T}^{2}}\) with height found from the scintillometer measurements close to the surface and at 43 m under daytime convective conditions corresponds to free-convection scaling, whereas the aircraft measurements at 54 and 83 m suggest a different behaviour.


Heterogeneous terrain LITFASS Scintillometer Temperature structure parameter Turbulence Unmanned aircraft 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Beyrich
    • 1
  • Jens Bange
    • 2
  • Oscar K. Hartogensis
    • 4
  • Siegfried Raasch
    • 5
  • Miranda Braam
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniëlle van Dinther
    • 4
  • Doreen Gräf
    • 1
  • Bram van Kesteren
    • 4
  • Aline C. van den Kroonenberg
    • 2
    • 6
  • Björn Maronga
    • 5
  • Sabrina Martin
    • 7
  • Arnold F. Moene
    • 4
  1. 1.Meteorologisches Observatorium LindenbergRichard-Aßmann-Observatorium, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)Tauche - OT LindenbergGermany
  2. 2.Zentrum für Angewandte Geowissenschaften (ZAG)Eberhard-Karls-Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Meteorology and Air Quality GroupWageningen University and Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Meteorology and Air Quality GroupWageningen University and Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Institut für Meteorologie and Klimatologie, Fakultät für Mathematik und PhysikLeibniz-Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  6. 6.Scintec AGRottenburgGermany
  7. 7.Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt-SystemeTechnische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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