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Spectral remote sensing of clouds during NARVAL-2 und NAWDEX


Between August and October 2016 the LMU cloud spectrometer specMACS was part of a comprehensive remote sensing  instrumentation on board of the research aircraft HALO. specMACS provided spectral imagery of solar radiance between 500 and 2500 nm wavelength. A swath of several kilometres width was provided along the aircraft flight track. Based on this data spatial cloud distribution, cloud phase, and cloud particle size will be provided.

Further remote sensing sensors included the HAMP microwave radiometer package for the measurement of water vapor profiles in cloud free atmosphere, the HAMP radar component for cloud profile information just beneath the aircraft and the WALES lidar providing mainly aerosol and water vapor information but also ice cloud data. Dropsondes allowed to characterise in-situ profiles of pressure, temperature and humidity.

Scientific goal of NARVAL-2 ("Next generation Aircraft Remote-sensing for Validation studies") based on Barbados was the investigation of the aggregation of shallow trade cumulus convection into larger convective complexes and finally into tropical storms. Led by scientists from the Waves2Weather project and based on Iceland, the North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment (NAWDEX) sought new insights into the dynamics of the mid latitude atmosphere and into the predictability of weather in Europe.

The image shows the HALO aircraft at Keflavik airport on Iceland and a selection of specmacs data examples (as real-color composite) for different cloud situations.