613 Seminar: Kirk Knobelspiesse

Ocean Ecology Laboratory, Code 616

The ORACLES (ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS) suborbital mission just concluded its first Intensive Observation Period (IOP) field campaign to study aerosol-cloud interactions in the South East Atlantic ocean. Two NASA aircraft, the ER-2 and P-3, were deployed to Walvis Bay, Namibia. The P-3 completed fourteen science flights, sampling throughout the atmospheric column, while the ER-2 performed ten high altitude flights. Both platforms hosted versions of the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP), a multi-angle passive polarimeter that observes cloud and aerosol optical properties. I will describe the objectives of ORACLES, principles of the RSP instrument, and give a preliminary overview of what we observed in the field. I’ll focus on RSP retrievals of cloud optical properties, and describe efforts to develop and refine algorithms for determination of cloud, aerosol, and aerosol above cloud optical properties. Observations of aerosols above clouds were the specific focus of ORACLES.

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