Atmospheric Profiling

The AERI instrument detects vertical and temporal (time) changes of temperature and water vapor in the lower part of the earth's atmosphere via changes in measured down going infrared radiation coming from the lower atmosphere. With a temporal resolution of less than 10 minutes and an optimal vertical resolution of 100 meters, the AERI instrument can observe meteorologically important mesoscale phenomena, such as boundary layer evolution, cold/warm frontal passages, dry lines, and thunderstorm outflow boundaries. These temperature and moisture vertical retrievals provide data for stability index monitoring, planetary boundary layer research, mesoscale model initialization, verification, and nowcasting. The AERI instrument is also used in the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program.

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Cloud Retrieval

Ground-based AERI and Raman Lidar measurements are used to infer cirrus cloud absorption optical depth and effective particle size. The high spectral resolution AERI measurements allow inversion of the infrared radiative transfer equation between gaseous absorption lines (e.g., regions of minimal atmospheric emission), referred to as microwindows, to derive the cloud infrared absorption optical depth. Lidar data are used to determine cloud boundaries, while also providing an independent measurement of cloud optical depth. Optical depth spectral variation, across the 8 to 12 micron atmospheric window, yields information on particle size and shape. A best fit of absorption optical depth to the measured absorption optical depth is used to determine the effective radius of particles within the cloud.


Atmospheric Profile Validation

Currently, the AERIBAGO is involved in efforts to validate atmospheric profiles measured by both the Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) system and the Water Vapor Sensing System 2 (WVSS2) instrument.

Both of these systems are being deployed with the goal to design, build, and fly an inexpensive instrument that would measure meteorological variables from commuter aircraft flying to small and medium size cities. It is anticipated that they will result in more accurate weather forecasts and reduce aircraft accidents and delays.

See also: TAMDAR Moisture/Temperature Profile AERIBAGO Validation Presentation (TAMDAR Meeting, June 2004)

Last updated: March 10, 2005 by SSEC Webmaster