Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 407–432 | Cite as

Comparison of Boundary-Layer Profiles and Layer Detection by AMDAR and WTR/RASS at Frankfurt Airport

  • Clemens Drüe
  • Thomas Hauf
  • Axel Hoff


At Frankfurt airport (EDDF) vertical soundings of the lower atmosphere from two independent sources are available. One of them is a wind and temperature profiler (wind temperature radar and radio acoustic sounding system, WTR/RASS) located at the western end of the main pair of runways. The second source is aircraft meteorological data relay (AMDAR), i.e. measurements operationally collected by approaching and departing aircraft. Together, both offer a rare opportunity to compare the performance of these widely used systems. We use 1 year of continuous data to calculate systematic temperature and wind vector differences between both measurement systems. The differences show a clear season-dependent structure in conjunction with typical inversion heights. Possible causes for this behaviour are discussed. Second, we compare the ability of both systems to identify inversion and wind-shear layers above the airport. AMDAR-detected layers are typically higher than wind profiler detections. The layer base is usually detected with more agreement than the top. The mutual probability of detection of inversions is found to be mostly between 40 and 60%.


Airport terminal area Aircraft meteorological data relay (AMDAR) Inversion detection Wind profiler 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität TrierTrierGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Meteorologie und KlimatologieLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Deutscher WetterdienstOffenbachGermany

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