We present an implementation of super-large-scale particle image velocimetry (SLPIV) to characterize spatially the turbulent atmospheric boundary layer using natural snowfall as flow tracers. The SLPIV technique achieves a measurement area of ~22 m × 52 m, up to 56 m above the ground, with a spatial resolution of ~0.34 m. The traceability of snow particles is estimated based on their settling velocity obtained from the wall-normal component of SLPIV velocity measurements. The results are validated using coincident measurements from sonic anemometers on a meteorological tower situated in close proximity to the SLPIV sampling area. A contrast of the mean velocity and the streamwise Reynolds stress component obtained from the two techniques shows less than 3 and 12 % difference, respectively. Additionally, the turbulent energy spectra measured by SLPIV show a similar inertial subrange and trends when compared to those measured by the sonic anemometers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by US Department of Energy (grant No: DE–EE0002980) and the resources provided by the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory as part of the start-up package of Jiarong Hong.