Wind Profile in the Aquatic System Using Multirotor Aircraft: Sample Design and Instrumental Advances

Abstract The Project “unmanned aerial vehicles to wind assessment in aquatic systems” was a multi-institutional and multi-instrument experiment carried out to measure, in detail, the spatial characteristics of mean wind over a large tropical aquatic system and how is the flow modulated by hill, ramp and abrupt roughness change. Two field experiments were conducted during September and November 2016 in the Furnas reservoir and surrounding, an extensive (~1,250 km2) Brazilian typical reservoir. During the experiments, two towers were deployed on a hill and isle, and on the anchored buoy was installed a 10 m mast and a Doppler Lidar with a stabilizing mechanism. Vertical profile of temperature and humidity was obtained by attach sensor to tethered balloon. The present paper provides an overview of the Project as a whole, including a detailed description of the study area and the instrumentation and attempts to prove the viability of using an unmanned 6-motors rotorcraft, commonly known as a hexacopter, as a promising low-cost alternative to traditional platforms for vertical profiling in the atmospheric boundary layer.