Detection of Flow Distortions and Systematic Errors in Sonic Anemometry Using the Planar Fit Method
We describe the coordinate transformations that can be used to convert the velocity components measured by a set of sonic anemometers with time-dependent tilt fluctuations into a single, time-independent coordinate system. By applying the planar fit method (PFM) to each anemometer dataset, it is possible, for planar flows, to locate the flow plane at each measurement point and compare its orientation with the topography. Installation on a ship is also considered. An application of this method to intercomparison data has led to the detection of an instrument error due to a misalignment between the assembly of the sonic transducers and the anemometer pedestal. If this error occurs, pedestal levelling does not guarantee that measurements are unbiased. A correction method is proposed and the results of two experiments are shown. Flow planarity at different levels and flow distortion caused by the mast are highlighted. The influence of the error on the evaluation of the Reynolds stresses using PFM or the double rotation method and the triple rotation method is discussed and the tilt corrected stresses calculated using the three methods compared.
KeywordsCoordinate systems Positioning error Sonic anemometers Tilt corrections Turbulent flux measurement
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