In situ calibration of hot-film probes using a collocated sonic anemometer: Implementation of a neural network

E. Kit*, A. Cherkassky, T. Sant, H. J.S. Fernando

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the integral quantities of atmospheric turbulence are conveniently measured using sonic anemometers, obtaining relevant finescale variables such as the kinetic energy dissipation using conventional hot-film/wire techniques remains a challenge because of two main difficulties. The first difficulty is the mean wind variability, which causes violation of the requirement that mean winds have a specific alignment with the hot-film/wire probe. To circumvent this problem, a combination of collocated sonic and hot-film anemometers, with the former measuring mean winds and aligning the latter in the appropriate wind direction via an automated platform, is successfully designed and implemented. The second difficulty is the necessity of frequent and onerous calibrations akin to hot-film anemometry that lead to logistical difficulties during outdoor (field) measurements. This is addressed by employing sonic measurements to calibrate the hot films in the same combination, with the output (velocity) to input (voltage) transfer function for the hot film derived using a neural network (NN) model. The NN is trained using low-pass-filtered hot-film and sonic data taken in situ. This new hot-film calibration procedure is compared with the standard calibration method based on an external calibrator. It is inferred that the sonic-based NN method offers great potential as an alternative to laborious standard calibration techniques, particularly in the laboratory and in stable atmospheric boundary layer settings. The NN approximation technique is found to be superior to the conventionally used polynomial fitting methods when used in conjunction with unevenly spaced calibration velocity data generated by sonic anemometers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


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