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Extreme Turbulence (ET) probe
An ARL scientist deploying the ET probe on a tower at the end of a 560 meter pier in Duck, North Carolina for a hurricane study.
ARL designed and developed the ET probe to measure winds, turbulence, and air-sea fluxes in conditions with rain and high-winds, such as those encountered in hurricanes. Standard anemometers cannot make measurements in those conditions. The ET probe is basically an aircraft gust probe (an air velocity sensing instrument mounted on the front of aircraft) that has been adapted for use at a fixed surface location in high winds. It has special modifications to mitigate the effects of rain and spray on the wind data. The ET probe has been successfully deployed on land in advance of hurricanes to measure details of wind gusts and turbulence.
In recent years, ARL has focused its ET probe research on measuring vertical surface momentum and energy fluxes over the sea surface for longer periods of time. This research is part of NOAA's Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project. To observe these fluxes, the probes were deployed on over-water platforms for several months during the 2009 hurricane season. In preparation for longer deployments, ARL made significant modifications to the probe design. One probe was deployed at the end of a 560 meter pier jutting out over the water on the North Carolina coast. A second probe was deployed on a navigation light in the Florida Keys. In 2010, two probes were deployed on over-water platforms in the Florida Keys. Both 2009 and 2010 ended up being quiet years for hurricanes affecting the U.S. The only high-wind events were associated with extratropical cyclones affecting the North Carolina site in 2009.
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