Note: A balloon-borne accelerometer technique for measuring atmospheric turbulence

Graeme J. Marlton, R. Giles Harrison, Keri A. Nicoll, Paul D. Williams

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20 Citations (SciVal)


A weather balloon and its suspended instrument package behave like a pendulum with a moving pivot. This dynamical system is exploited here for the detection of atmospheric turbulence. By adding an accelerometer to the instrument package, the size of the swings induced by atmospheric turbulence can be measured. In test flights, strong turbulence has induced accelerations greater than 5g, where g = 9.81 m s?2. Calibration of the accelerometer data with a vertically orientated lidar has allowed eddy dissipation rate values of between 10?3 and 10?2 m2 s?3 to be derived from the accelerometer data. The novel use of a whole weather balloon and its adapted instrument package can be used as a new instrument to make standardized in situ measurements of turbulence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number016109
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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