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Measurement of stratospheric turbulence using an airborne pseudo-satellite

Academic lead
Andrew Shires (Mechanical Engineering)
Industrial lead
Simone Colonia (Airbus Defence and Space Ltd) and Kevin Hackett (IHS ESDU)
Stephen Mobbs (Earth and Environment)
Project themes
Energy and Transport, Environmental Flows

In collaboration with Airbus (Defence & Space) and ESDU, this project will develop a new sensing capability that will be tested in a wind tunnel and on-board Airbus’s Zephyr S High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) aircraft. Stratospheric clear air turbulence is caused by atmospheric gravity waves, and is of interest to both meteorological and aeronautical applications. Since Zephyr operates at very low Reynolds number the wing has extensive laminar flow that is susceptible to laminar separation bubblesThe research will consider how the turbulence data can be used to improve the design and performance of the vehicle, in combination with CFD modelling, so that it can remain at altitude for several months. In addition, the research will provide a dataset for the verification of atmospheric dynamics models that are critical for weather and climate prediction.