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Meteorological Profiling in the Fire Environment Using UAS

Author(s): Matthew J. Brewer, Craig B. Clements
Year Published: 2020

With the increase in commercially available small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), new observations in extreme environments are becoming more obtainable. One such application is the fire environment, wherein measuring both fire and atmospheric properties are challenging. The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment offered the unique opportunity of a large controlled wildfire, which allowed measurements that cannot generally be taken during an active wildfire. Fire–atmosphere interactions have typically been measured from stationary instrumented towers and by remote sensing systems such as lidar. Advances in UAS and compact meteorological instrumentation have allowed for small moving weather stations that can move with the fire front while sampling. This study highlights the use of DJI Matrice 200, which was equipped with a TriSonica Mini Wind and Weather station sonic anemometer weather station in order to sample the fire environment in an experimental and controlled setting. The weather station was mounted on to a carbon fiber pole extending off the side of the platform. The system was tested against an RM-Young 81,000 sonic anemometer, mounted at 6 and 2 m above ground levelto assess any bias in the UAS platform. Preliminary data show that this system can be useful for taking vertical profiles of atmospheric variables, in addition to being used in place of meteorological tower measurements when suitable.

Citation: Brewer MJ, and Clements CB. 2020. Meteorological Profiling in the Fire Environment Using UAS. Fire 3 (3): 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire3030036 
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Weather
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 21614
Record updated: Aug 5, 2020