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  • Author or Editor: Knut Stamnes x
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R. Paul Lawson, Knut Stamnes, Jakob Stamnes, Pat Zmarzly, Jeff Koskuliks, Chris Roden, Qixu Mo, Michael Carrithers, and Geoffrey L. Bland

Abstract

A tethered-balloon system capable of making microphysical and radiative measurements in clouds is described and examples of measurements in boundary layer stratus clouds in the Arctic and at the South Pole are presented. A 43-m3 helium-filled balloon lofts an instrument package that is powered by two copper conductors in the tether. The instrument package can support several instruments, including, but not limited to, a cloud particle imager; a forward-scattering spectrometer probe; temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind sensors; ice nuclei filters; and a 4-π radiometer that measures actinic flux at 500 and 800 nm. The balloon can stay aloft for an extended period of time (in excess of 24 h) and conduct vertical profiles up to about 1–2 km, contingent upon payload weight, wind speed, and surface elevation. Examples of measurements in mixed-phase clouds at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79°N), and at the South Pole are discussed. The stratus clouds at Ny-Ålesund ranged in temperature from 0° to −10°C and were mostly mixed phase with heavily rimed ice particles, even when cloud-top temperatures were warmer than −5°C. Conversely, mixed-phase clouds at the South Pole contained regions with only water drops at temperatures as cold as −32°C and were often composed of pristine ice crystals. The radiative properties of mixed-phase clouds are a critical component of radiative transfer in polar regions, which, in turn, is a lynch pin for climate change on a global scale.

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Matteo Ottaviani, Knut Stamnes, Jeff Koskulics, Hans Eide, Steven R. Long, Wenying Su, and Warren Wiscombe

Abstract

The reflection of sunlight from a wavy water surface, often referred to as sun glint, is a well-known phenomenon that presents challenges but also hitherto untapped opportunities in remote sensing based on satellite imagery. Despite being extensively investigated in the open ocean, sun glint lacks a fundamental characterization obtained under controlled laboratory conditions. A novel apparatus is presented, which is suitable for highly time-resolved measurements of light reflection from different computer-controlled wave states, with special emphasis on the detection of the polarization components. Such a system can help establish a link between the evanescent “atomic glints” from a single wave facet and the familiar sunglint pattern obtained by time averaging over a surface area containing many facets.

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Jeffrey Koskulics, Steven Englehardt, Steven Long, Yongxiang Hu, Matteo Ottaviani, and Knut Stamnes

Abstract

Submerged objects viewed through wavy water surfaces appear distorted by refraction. An imaging system exploiting this effect is implemented using a submerged planar light source designed so that color images reveal features of small-amplitude waves in a wind-wave tank. The system is described by a nonlinear model of image formation based on the geometry of refraction, spectral emission from the light source, radiative transfer through the water and surface, and camera spectral response. Surface normal vector components are retrieved from the color image data using an iterative solution to the nonlinear model. The surface topography is then retrieved using a linear model that combines surface normal data with a priori constraints on elevation and curvature. The high-resolution topographic data reveal small-amplitude waves spanning wavelength scales from capillary through short gravity wave regimes. The system capabilities are demonstrated in the retrieval of test surfaces, and of a case of wind-driven waves, using data collected at high spatial and temporal resolution in a wave tank. The approach of using a physical model of image formation with inverse solution methods provides an example of how surface topography can be retrieved and may be applicable to data from other similar instruments.

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Yongxiang Hu, David Winker, Mark Vaughan, Bing Lin, Ali Omar, Charles Trepte, David Flittner, Ping Yang, Shaima L. Nasiri, Bryan Baum, Robert Holz, Wenbo Sun, Zhaoyan Liu, Zhien Wang, Stuart Young, Knut Stamnes, Jianping Huang, and Ralph Kuehn

Abstract

The current cloud thermodynamic phase discrimination by Cloud-Aerosol Lidar Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) is based on the depolarization of backscattered light measured by its lidar [Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP)]. It assumes that backscattered light from ice crystals is depolarizing, whereas water clouds, being spherical, result in minimal depolarization. However, because of the relationship between the CALIOP field of view (FOV) and the large distance between the satellite and clouds and because of the frequent presence of oriented ice crystals, there is often a weak correlation between measured depolarization and phase, which thereby creates significant uncertainties in the current CALIOP phase retrieval. For water clouds, the CALIOP-measured depolarization can be large because of multiple scattering, whereas horizontally oriented ice particles depolarize only weakly and behave similarly to water clouds. Because of the nonunique depolarization–cloud phase relationship, more constraints are necessary to uniquely determine cloud phase. Based on theoretical and modeling studies, an improved cloud phase determination algorithm has been developed. Instead of depending primarily on layer-integrated depolarization ratios, this algorithm differentiates cloud phases by using the spatial correlation of layer-integrated attenuated backscatter and layer-integrated particulate depolarization ratio. This approach includes a two-step process: 1) use of a simple two-dimensional threshold method to provide a preliminary identification of ice clouds containing randomly oriented particles, ice clouds with horizontally oriented particles, and possible water clouds and 2) application of a spatial coherence analysis technique to separate water clouds from ice clouds containing horizontally oriented ice particles. Other information, such as temperature, color ratio, and vertical variation of depolarization ratio, is also considered. The algorithm works well for both the 0.3° and 3° off-nadir lidar pointing geometry. When the lidar is pointed at 0.3° off nadir, half of the opaque ice clouds and about one-third of all ice clouds have a significant lidar backscatter contribution from specular reflections from horizontally oriented particles. At 3° off nadir, the lidar backscatter signals for roughly 30% of opaque ice clouds and 20% of all observed ice clouds are contaminated by horizontally oriented crystals.

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