Validation of an airborne doppler wind lidar in tropical cyclones

Lisa R. Bucci, Christopher O’handley, G. David Emmitt, Jun A. Zhang, Kelly Ryan, Robert Atlas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study presents wind observations from an airborne Doppler Wind Lidar (ADWL) in 2016 tropical cyclones (TC). A description of ADWL measurement collection and quality control methods is introduced for the use in a TC environment. Validation against different instrumentation on-board the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s WP-3D aircraft shows good agreement of the retrieved ADWL measured wind speed and direction. Measurements taken from instruments such as the global positioning system dropsonde, flight-level wind probe, tail Doppler radar, and Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer are compared to ADWL observations by creating paired datasets. These paired observations represent independent measurements of the same observation space through a variety of mapping techniques that account for differences in measurement procedure. Despite high correlation values, outliers are identified and discussed in detail. The errors between paired observations appear to be caused by differences in the ability to capture various length scales, which directly relate to certain regions in a TC regime. In validating these datasets and providing evidence that shows the mitigation of gaps in 3-dimensional wind representation, the unique wind observations collected via ADWL have significant potential to impact numerical weather prediction of TCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4288
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Doppler wind lidar
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Validation
  • Wind structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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