28 Mar 2023
 | 28 Mar 2023

Advancing airborne Doppler lidar wind profiling in turbulent boundary layer flow – an LES-based optimization of traditional scanning-beam versus novel fixed-beam measurement systems

Philipp Gasch, James Kasic, Oliver Maas, and Zhien Wang

Abstract. There is a need for improved wind measurements inside the planetary boundary layer (PBL), including the capability to sample turbulent flow. Airborne Doppler lidar (ADL) provides unique capabilities for spatially resolved and targeted wind measurements in the PBL. However, ADL wind profiling in the PBL is challenging, as turbulence violates the flow homogeneity assumption used in wind profile retrieval and thereby introduces error in the retrieved wind profiles. As turbulence is a dominant source of error it is necessary to investigate and optimize ADL wind profiling capabilities in turbulent PBL flow.

This study investigates the potential of a novel multiple fixed-beam ADL system design to provide improved wind information in turbulent PBL flow, compared to traditional single scanning-beam ADL systems. To achieve this, an LES-based airborne Doppler lidar simulator presented in Gasch et al. (2020) is employed and extended in this study.

Results show that a multiple fixed-beam system with settings comparable to those of commonly used single scanning-beam systems offers distinct advantages. Advantages include overall reduced wind profile retrieval error due to turbulence and improved spatial representation alongside higher wind profile availability. The study also offers insight into the dependence of the retrieval error on system setup parameters and retrieval parameters for both fixed-beam and scanning-beam systems. When using a fixed-beam system, an order of magnitude higher wind profile resolution appears possible, compared to traditional scanning systems at comparable retrieval accuracy. Thus, using multiple fixed-beam systems opens the door towards better sampling of turbulent PBL flow.

Overall, the simulator provides a cost-effective tool to investigate and optimize wind profile error characteristics due to turbulence, and to optimize system setup and retrieval strategies for ADL wind profiling in turbulent flow.

Philipp Gasch et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-548', Benjamin Witschas, 04 Apr 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC1', Philipp Gasch, 14 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-548', George Emmitt, 11 May 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Philipp Gasch, 14 Jul 2023
  • AC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-548', Philipp Gasch, 14 Jul 2023

Philipp Gasch et al.

Philipp Gasch et al.


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Short summary
This manuscript rethinks airborne wind measurements and investigates a new design for airborne Doppler lidar systems. Recent advances in lidar technology allow the use of multiple lidar systems with fixed viewing directions instead of a single lidar attached to a scanner. Our simulation results show that the proposed new design offers great potential for both higher accuracy and higher resolution airborne wind measurements.