The DataHawk2 Uncrewed Aircraft System for Atmospheric Research Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The DataHawk2 (DH2) is a small, fixed wing uncrewed aircraft system, or UAS, developed at the University of Colorado (CU) primarily for taking detailed thermodynamic measurements of the atmospheric boundary layer. The DH2 weighs 1.7 kg and has a wingspan of 1.3 m, with a flight endurance of approximately 60 minutes, depending on configuration. In the DH2’s most modern form, the aircraft carries a Vaisala RSS-421 sensor for pressure, temperature, and relative humidity measurements, two CU-developed infrared temperature sensors, and a CU-developed finewire array, in addition to sensors required to support autopilot function (pitot tube with pressure sensor, GPS receiver, inertial measurement unit), from which wind speed and direction can also be estimated. This paper presents a description of the DH2, including information on design and development work, and puts the DH2 into context with respect to other contemporary UAS. Data from recent field work (MOSAiC, the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) is presented and compared with radiosondes deployed during that campaign to provide an overview of sensor and system performance. These data show good agreement across pressure, temperature, and relative humidity, as well as wind speed and direction. Additional examples of measurements provided by the DH2 are given from a variety of previous campaigns in locations ranging from the continental United States to Japan and northern Alaska. Finally, a look toward future system improvements and upcoming research campaign participation is given.;

publication date

  • April 20, 2022

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • April 22, 2022 5:03 AM

Full Author List

  • Hamilton J; de Boer G; Doddi A; Lawrence D

author count

  • 4

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