Surface layer profiles of air temperature and humidity measured from unmanned aircraft

Stephen Hobbs*, David Dyer, Dominique Courault, Albert Olioso, Jean Pierre Lagouarde, Yann Kerr, John McAneney, Jean Bonnefond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The atmospheric surface layer couples processes in the atmosphere with those at the land surface, but is not fully understood for hererogeneous land surfaces. A small remotely piloted aircraft was flown during the ReSeDA experiment to measure profiles of heat and humidity in the surface layer near boundaries between different land cover types to study atmospheric structure over heterogeneous terrain. The aircraft payload included sensors for temperature, humidity and position. Extensive data processing has been performed to check data quality and coordinate the datasets created (to common time and position references). Initial results show the expected general features of the surface layer profiles of temperature and humidity and also give details of structure near field boundaries, especially where there is strong contrast in surface properties and radiative forcing. The experiments also demonstrate that unmanned aircraft are practical tools for this form of atmospheric research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospheric surface layer
  • ReSeDA
  • Surface heterogeneity
  • UAV
  • Vaisala Humitter


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