Flow over an isolated hill revealed by multirotor aircraft data

Abstract This paper represents a contribution of the Project “unmanned aerial vehicles to wind assessment in aquatic systems”, a multi-institutional and multi-instrumented experiment carried out to measure, in detail, the characteristics of winds over a large tropical aquatic system and how the flow is modulated by hill, ramp and abrupt roughness changes. It presents results from experiments conducted during november 2016 over a typical hill site that is adequate for installation of wind turbines. During the experiments, both hilltop and upstream wind profile data were obtained using an unmanned rotorcraft, commonly known as a hexacopter. The flow speed at 20 m over the top of hill was found to be increased by a factor of 1.8. The results were compared with an analytical model which makes a careful application of linear theory to real terrain.

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