Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 189–208 | Cite as

Methods for Evaluating the Temperature Structure-Function Parameter Using Unmanned Aerial Systems and Large-Eddy Simulation

  • Charlotte E. Wainwright
  • Timothy A. Bonin
  • Phillip B. Chilson
  • Jeremy A. Gibbs
  • Evgeni Fedorovich
  • Robert D. Palmer


Small-scale turbulent fluctuations of temperature are known to affect the propagation of both electromagnetic and acoustic waves. Within the inertial-subrange scale, where the turbulence is locally homogeneous and isotropic, these temperature perturbations can be described, in a statistical sense, using the structure-function parameter for temperature, \(C_{T}^2\). Here we investigate different methods of evaluating \(C_{T}^2\), using data from a numerical large-eddy simulation together with atmospheric observations collected by an unmanned aerial system and a sodar. An example case using data from a late afternoon unmanned aerial system flight on April 24 2013 and corresponding large-eddy simulation data is presented and discussed.


Large-eddy simulation Sodar Structure-function parameter  Unmanned aerial system 



The National Science Foundation (NSF) is acknowledged for the support of the reported study through the Grant ATM-1016153. The authors acknowledge the three anonymous reviewers whose suggestions substantially improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte E. Wainwright
    • 1
  • Timothy A. Bonin
    • 2
  • Phillip B. Chilson
    • 1
  • Jeremy A. Gibbs
    • 2
  • Evgeni Fedorovich
    • 2
  • Robert D. Palmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Advanced Radar Research Center and School of MeteorologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.School of MeteorologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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