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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Comparison of Lyman-alpha and LI-COR infrared hygrometers for airborne measurement of turbulent fluctuations of water vapour

Lampert, Astrid; Hartmann, Joerg; Paetzold, Falk; Lobitz, Lennart; Hecker, Peter; Kohnert, Katrin; Larmanou, Eric; Serafimovich, Andrei; Sachs, Torsten


To investigate if the LI-COR humidity sensor can be used as a replacement of the Lyman-alpha sensor for airborne applications, the measurement data of the Lyman-alpha and several LI-COR sensors are analysed in direct intercomparison flights on different airborne platforms. One vibration isolated closed-path and two non-isolated open-path LI-COR sensors were installed on a Dornier 128 twin engine turbo-prop aircraft. The closed-path sensor provided absolute values and fluctuations of the water vapour mixing ratio in good agreement with the Lyman-alpha. The signals of the two open-path sensors showed considerable high-frequency noise, and the absolute value of the mixing ratio was observed to drift with time in this vibrational environment.On the helicopter-towed sensor system Helipod, with very low vibration levels, the open-path LI-COR sensor agreed very well with the Lyman-alpha sensor over the entire frequency range up to 3 Hz.The results show that the LI-COR sensors are well suited for airborne measurements of humidity fluctuations, provided that a vibrationless environment is given, and this turns out to be more important than close sensor spacing.

Published in

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
2018, volume: 11, number: 4, pages: 2523-2536

Authors' information

Lampert, Astrid
Braunschweig University of Technology
Hartmann, Jörg
Alfred Wegener Institute
Pätzold, Falk
Braunschweig University of Technology
Lobitz, Lennart
Braunschweig University of Technology
Kohnert, Katrin
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Unit for Field-based Forest Research
Serafimovich, Andrei
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Sachs, Torsten
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

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