22 Sep 2023
 | 22 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Data collected using small uncrewed aircraft system during the TRacking Aerosol Convection Interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER)

Francesca Lappin, Gijs de Boer, Petra Klein, Jonathan Hamilton, Michelle Spencer, Radiance Calmer, Antonio R. Segales, Michael Rhodes, Tyler M. Bell, Justin Buchli, Kelsey Britt, Elizabeth Asher, Isaac Medina, Brian Butterworth, Leia Otterstatter, Madison Ritsch, Bryony Puxley, Angelina Miller, Arianna Jordan, Ceu Gomez-Faulk, Elizabeth Smith, Steve Borenstein, Troy Thornberry, Brian Argrow, and Elizabeth Pillar-Little

Abstract. The main goal of the TRacking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER) project was to further understand the role that regional circulations and aerosol loading play in the convective cloud life cycle across the greater Houston, Texas area. To accomplish this goal, the United States Department of Energy and research partners collaborated to deploy atmospheric observing systems across the region. Cloud and precipitation radars, radiosondes, and air quality sensors captured atmospheric and cloud characteristics. A dense lower atmospheric dataset was developed using ground-based remote sensors, a tethersonde, and uncrewed aerial systems (UAS). TRACER-UAS is a subproject that deployed two UAS platforms to gather high-resolution observations in the lower atmosphere between 1 June and 30 September 2022. The University of Oklahoma CopterSonde and the University of Colorado Boulder RAAVEN (Robust Autonomous Aerial Vehicle – Endurant Nimble) were flown at two coastal locations between the Gulf of Mexico and Houston. The University of Colorado RAAVEN gathered measurements of atmospheric thermodynamic state, winds and turbulence, and aerosol size distribution. Meanwhile, the University of Oklahoma CopterSonde system operated on a regular basis to resolve the vertical structure of the thermodynamic and kinematic state. Together, a complementary dataset of over 200 flight hours across 61 days was generated, and data from each platform proved to be in strong agreement. In this paper, the platforms and respective data collection and processing are described. The dataset described herein provides information on boundary layer evolution, the sea breeze circulation, conditions prior to and nearby deep convection, and the vertical structure and evolution of aerosols.

Francesca Lappin et al.

Status: open (until 13 Dec 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-371', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Oct 2023 reply

Francesca Lappin et al.

Data sets

TRACER-UAS CopterSonde and RAAVEN data Francesca Lappin and Gijs de Boer

Francesca Lappin et al.


Total article views: 320 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
259 51 10 320 4 10
  • HTML: 259
  • PDF: 51
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 320
  • BibTeX: 4
  • EndNote: 10
Views and downloads (calculated since 22 Sep 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 22 Sep 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 289 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 289 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 01 Dec 2023
Short summary
This article provides an overview of the lower atmospheric dataset collected by two uncrewed aerial systems near the Gulf of Mexico coastline south of Houston, TX, USA, as a part of the TRACER campaign. The data were collected through boundary layer transitions, sea breeze circulations, and in the pre- and near-storm environment to understand how these processes influence the coastal environment.