The DLR-developed sensor package for meteorological measurements measures the basic units like temperature, pressure and humidity as well as wind speed and direction using a boom mounted flow angle sensor. The sensor system is capable of turbulence measurements.
Since the Cessna Caravan is a single engine aircraft, it does not allow for measurements on the aircraft nose. Therefore the sensor package has been designed as an underwing installation using the existing hardpoints.
As part of the sensor package the Caravan will be equipped with a data acquisition system which is capable of storing analog signals of the meteorological sensors. The system can be scaled according to the number of existing data channels and is able to also acquire and store data from additional user systems. A cabin mounted IRS (LTR 81) is also part of the system and is necessary for turbulence/wind measurements.
An onboard quicklook system will allow scientific users to look at the meteorological and aircraft data during flight. This information can be used for example to adjust the flight parameters or the flight pattern according to the present conditions.
The meteo pod is presently undergoing certification and flight test and will be available for scientific missions by mid 2006.