Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Acta Geophysica

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.945
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.061

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.581
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.779
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.937

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
Volume 60, Issue 5 (Oct 2012)


The Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer SUMO: Recent developments and applications of a micro-UAS for atmospheric boundary layer research

Joachim Reuder
  • Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • Email:
/ Marius Jonassen
  • Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • Email:
/ Haraldur Ólafsson
  • Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • Email:
Published Online: 2012-09-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11600-012-0042-8


During the last 5 years, the Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer SUMO has been developed as a flexible tool for atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) research to be operated as sounding system for the lowest 4 km of the atmosphere. Recently two main technical improvements have been accomplished. The integration of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) into the Paparazzi autopilot system has expanded the environmental conditions for SUMO operation. The implementation of a 5-hole probe for determining the 3D flow vector with 100 Hz resolution and a faster temperature sensor has enhanced the measurement capabilities.

Results from two recent field campaigns are presented. During the first one, in Denmark, the potential of the system to study the effects of wind turbines on ABL turbulence was shown. During the second one, the BLLAST field campaign at the foothills of the Pyrenees, SUMO data proved to be highly valuable for studying the processes of the afternoon transition of the convective boundary layer.

Keywords: atmospheric boundary layer; unmanned aircraft system; BLLAST field campaign; wind farm effect on turbulence; morning cooling

  • [1] Aeroprobe (2012), On-The-Fly! Air Data System User’s Manual, Revision F, 1/2012, http://www.aeroprobe.com/uploads/On-The-Fly_Manual_RevF.docx (last accessed 03.02.2012).

  • [2] BLLAST (2011), BLLAST 2011 Experimental Plans, http://bllast.sedoo.fr/campaigns/2011/Experimental-plans-document_v8.pdf (last accessed 15.01.2012).

  • [3] Brisset, P., A. Drouin, M. Gorraz, P.-S. Huard, and J. Tyler (2006), The Paparazzi solution, http://www.recherche.enac.fr/paparazzi/papers2006/mav06paparazzi.pdf.

  • [4] Curry, J.A., J. Maslanik, G. Holland, and J. Pinto (2004), Applications of Aerosondes in the Arctic, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 85,12, 1855–1861, DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-85-12-1855. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-85-12-1855 [Crossref]

  • [5] Egger, J., S. Bajrachaya, R. Heinrich, P. Kolb, S. Lämmlein, M. Mech, J. Reuder, W. Schäper, P. Shakya, J. Schween, and H. Wendt (2002), Diurnal winds in the Himalayan Kali Gandaki Valley. Part III: Remotely piloted aircraft soundings, Monthly Weath. Rev. 130,8, 2042–2058, DOI: 10.1175/1520-0493 (2002)130〈2042:DWITHK〉2.0.CO;2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0493(2002)130<2042:DWITHK>2.0.CO;2 [Crossref]

  • [6] Egger, J., L. Blacutt, F. Ghezzi, R. Heinrich, P. Kolb, S. Lämmlein, M. Leeb, S. Meyer, E. Palenque, J. Reuder, W. Schäper, J. Schween, R. Torrez, and F. Zaratti (2005), Diurnal circulation of the Bolivian Altiplano. Part I: Observations, Monthly Weath. Rev. 133,4, 911–924, DOI: 10.1175/MWR2894.1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR2894.1 [Crossref]

  • [7] ENAC (2008), Paparazzi User’s Manual, http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wikiimages/Usersmanual.pdf (last accessed 15.01.2012).

  • [8] Holland, G.J., P.J. Webster, J.A. Curry, G. Tyrell, D. Gauntlett, G. Brett, J. Becker, R. Hoag, and W. Vaglienti (2001), The Aerosonde robotic aircraft: A new paradigm for environmental observations, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 82, 889. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(2001)082<0889:TARAAN>2.3.CO;2

  • [9] Inoue, J., and J.A. Curry (2004), Application of Aerosondes to high-resolution observations of sea surface temperature over Barrow Canyon, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L14312, DOI: 10.1029/2004GL020336. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2004GL020336 [Crossref]

  • [10] Janjic, Z. (2002), Nonsingular implementation of the Mellor-Yamada Level 2.5 Scheme in the NCEP meso models, NCEP Office Note No. 437, 61 pp.

  • [11] Kleissl, J., R.E. Honrath, M.P. Dziobak, D. Tanner, M. Val Martın, R.C. Owen, and D. Helmig (2007), Occurrence of upslope flows at the Pico mountaintop observatory: A case study of orographic flows on a small, volcanic island, J. Geopys. Res. 112, D10S35, DOI: 10.1029/2006JD007565. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006JD007565 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [12] Konrad, T.G., M.L. Hill, J.R. Rowland, and J.H. Meyer (1970), A small, radiocontrolled aircraft as a platform for meteorological sensors, APL Tech. Dig. 10, 11–19.

  • [13] Kristjánsson, J.E., I. Barstad, T. Aspelien, I. Føre, Ø. Godøy, Ø. Hov, E. Irvine, T. Iversen, E. Kolstad, T.E. Nordeng, H. McInnes, R. Randriamampianina, J. Reuder, Ø. Saetra, M. Shapiro, T. Spengler, and H. Ólafsson (2012), The Norwegian IPY-THORPEX: Polar lows and Arctic fronts during the 2008 Andøya campaign, Bull. Am. Metorol. Soc. 92,11, 1443–1466. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2011BAMS2901.1

  • [14] Ma, S., H. Chen, G. Wang, Y. Pan, and Q. Li (2004), A miniature robotic plane meteorological sounding system, Adv. Atmos. Sci. 21,6, 890–896. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02915591

  • [15] Mayer, S., A. Sandvik, M. Jonassen, and J. Reuder (2010), Atmospheric profiling with the UAS SUMO: a new perspective for the evaluation of fine-scale atmospheric models, Meteorol. Atmos. Phys. DOI: 10.1007/s00703-010-0063-2. [Crossref] [Web of Science]

  • [16] Mayer, S., G. Hattenberger, P. Brisset, M. Jonassen, and J. Reuder (2012), A “noflow-sensor” wind estimation algorithm for Unmanned Aerial Systems, Int. J. Micro Air Vehicles 4,1, 15–30, DOI: 10.1260/1756-8293.4.1.15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/1756-8293.4.1.15 [Crossref]

  • [17] Ramanathan, V., M.V. Ramana, G. Roberts, D. Kim, C. Corrigan, C. Chung, and D. Winker (2007), Warming trends in Asia amplified by brown cloud solar absorption, Nature 448, 575–578, DOI: 10.1038/nature06019. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature06019 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [18] Reuder, J., P. Brisset, M. Jonassen, M. Müller, and S. Mayer (2009), The Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer SUMO: A new tool for atmospheric boundary layer research, Meteorol. Z. 18,2, 141–147, DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2009/0363. http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2009/0363 [Crossref]

  • [19] Reuder, J., M. Ablinger, H. Ágústsson, P. Brisset, S. Brynjólfsson, M. Garhammer, T. Jóhannesson, M.O. Jonassen, R. Kühnel, S. Lämmlein, T. de Lange, C. Lindenberg, S. Malardel, S. Mayer, M. Müller, H. Olafsson, O. Rögnvaldsson, W. Schäper, T. Spengler, G. Zängl, and J. Egger (2011), FLOHOF 2007: An overview of the mesoscale meteorological field campaign at Hofsjökull, Central Iceland, Meteorol. Atmos. Phys. 116,1–2, 1–13, DOI: 10.1007/s00703-010-0118-4. [Crossref]

  • [20] Serafin, S., and D. Zardi (2011), Daytime development of the boundary layer over a plain and in a valley under fair weather conditions: A comparison by means of idealized numerical simulations, J. Atmos. Sci. 68,9, 2128–2141, DOI: 10.1175/2011JAS3610.1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2011JAS3610.1 [Crossref] [Web of Science]

  • [21] Skamarock, W.C., J.B. Klemp, J. Dudhia, D.O. Gill, D.M. Barker, W. Wang, and J.G. Powers (2005), A description of the advanced research WRF version 2, NCAR Tech. Notes 468.

  • [22] Spengler, T., M. Ablinger, J.H. Schween, G. Zängl, and J. Egger (2009), Thermally driven flows at an asymmetric valley exit: Observations and model studies at the Lech Valley exit, Monthly Weath. Rev. 137,10, 3437–3455, DOI: 10.1175/2009MWR2779.1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2009MWR2779.1 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [23] Spiess, T., J. Bange, M. Buschmann, and P. Vörsmann (2007), First application of the meteorological Mini-UAV M2AV, Meteorol. Z. 16,2, 159–169, DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2007/0195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2007/0195 [Crossref]

  • [24] van den Kroonenberg, A., T. Martin, M. Buschmann, J. Bange, and P. Vörsmann (2008), Measuring the wind vector using the autonomous mini aerial vehicle M2AV, J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech. 25, 1969–1981, DOI: 10.1175/2008JTECHA1114.1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2008JTECHA1114.1 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [25] van den Kroonenberg, A., S. Martin, F. Beyrich, and J. Bange (2011), Spatiallyaveraged temperature structure parameter over a heterogeneous surface measured by an unmanned aerial vehicle, Bound.-Layer Meteorol. 142,1, 55–77, DOI: 10.1007/s10546-011-9662-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10546-011-9662-9 [Crossref]

  • [26] Weigel, A.P., and M.W. Rotach (2004), Flow structure and turbulence characteristics of the daytime atmosphere in a steep and narrow Alpine valley, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 130, 2605–2627, DOI: 10.1256/qj.03.214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1256/qj.03.214 [Crossref]

About the article

Published Online: 2012-09-09

Published in Print: 2012-10-01

Citation Information: Acta Geophysica, ISSN (Online) 1895-7455, ISSN (Print) 1895-6572, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11600-012-0042-8. Export Citation

© 2012 Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Jack Elston, Brian Argrow, Maciej Stachura, Doug Weibel, Dale Lawrence, and David Pope
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 2015, Volume 32, Number 1, Page 97
Line Båserud, Martin Flügge, Anak Bhandari, and Joachim Reuder
Energy Procedia, 2014, Volume 53, Page 173
Aurora Stenmark, Lars Robert Hole, Paul Voss, Joachim Reuder, and Marius O. Jonassen
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2014, Volume 119, Number 11, Page 6537
L. Mahrt
Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 2014, Volume 46, Number 1, Page 23
Dale A. Lawrence and Ben B. Balsley
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 2013, Volume 30, Number 10, Page 2352
Marius O. Jonassen, Haraldur Ólafsson, Hálfdán Ágústsson, Ólafur Rögnvaldsson, and Joachim Reuder
Monthly Weather Review, 2012, Volume 140, Number 11, Page 3734

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in