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C. G. Mohr
and
R. L. Vaughan

Abstract

A fast and efficient procedure has been developed which allows the systematic interpolation of digital reflectivity data from radar space into Cartesian space. The algorithm is designed so that only one ordered pass through the original PPI scan data is necessary to complete the interpolation process. As a result, 100 cross sections may be interpolated and displayed for approximately five times the cost of producing PPI plots for the same volume. Computer-generated displays produced by the system include contoured and gray-scale plots of orthogonal sections and perspective images of two- and three-dimensional reflectivity surfaces.

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Alfred R. Rodi
,
James C. Fankhauser
, and
Robin L. Vaughan

Abstract

Aircraft distance-measuring-equipment (DME) data are used to update position, velocity, and wind measurements from inertial navigation systems (INS) measurements. Data from conventional single-channel DME sets, suitably calibrated, are shown to be adequate to resolve the Schuler oscillation and correct INS positions to better than 1-km accuracy. The satellite-based NAVSTAR global position system (GPS) is rapidly superseding other systems for external position reference. However, DME is reliable and very accurate and has been recorded on many research datasets. The principal limitation of the DME is that it is restricted to land-based navigation. The regression technique used does not necessitate multiple DME receivers or station switching and involves few restrictions on the collection of the data. However, the results improve when more than one station is used. Comparisons with other navigation systems (interferometer and loran) demonstrate the method's skill in resolving INS errors. Intercomparisons among several research aircraft flying in close formation support the method's usefulness in correcting biases in INS data.

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R. J. Keeler
,
R. J. Serafin
,
R. L. Schwiesow
,
D. H. Lenschow
,
J. M. Vaughan
, and
A. A. Woodfield

Abstract

Measurement of air motion relative to an aircraft by a conically scanned optical Doppler technique has advantages over measurements with conventional gust probes for many applications. Advantages of the laser air motion sensing technique described here include calibration based on physical constants rather than experiment for an accurate measurement of mean wind, freedom from flow distortion effects on turbulence measurements, all-weather performance, reduction in error from mechanical vibrations and ability to measure vertical wind shear. An experiment comparing a single-component laser velocimeter and a differential pressure gust probe shows that the optical approach measures the turbulence spectrum accurately at frequencies up to 10 Hz and that the signal-to-noise ratio is not a limiting factor. In addition, we have observed the effect of spectral skewing caused by airflow distortion in cloud.

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J. C. Fankhauser
,
C. J. Biter
,
C. G. Mohr
, and
R. L. Vaughan

Abstract

Objective numerical techniques are applied in analyzing constant altitude aircraft measurements obtained from coordinated research flights in thunderstorm inflow regions. The approach combines meteorological and flight track data from dual or single aircraft missions in a common frame of reference and transforms the observations from original analogue format to horizontal two-dimensional Cartesian coordinates. Operational procedures guiding the data collection, intercomparison techniques for refining instrument calibrations and corrections for aircraft navigation errors are all considered.

Results of the interpolations are judged in the context of the storms' associated radar echo features. Primary applications include calculation of water vapor influx in cloud base updrafts. Evidence indicates that the fullest exploitation of the inflow mapping will come through combining kinematic fields observed concurrently by aircraft and multiple Doppler radars.

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David G. Vaughan
,
Jonathan L. Bamber
,
Mario Giovinetto
,
Jonathan Russell
, and
A. Paul R. Cooper

Abstract

Recent in situ measurements of surface mass balance and improved calculation techniques are used to produce an updated assessment of net surface mass balance over Antarctica. A new elevation model of Antarctica derived from ERS-1 satellite altimetry supplemented with conventional data was used to delineate the ice flow drainage basins across Antarctica. The areas of these basins were calculated using the recent digital descriptions of coastlines and grounding lines. The delineation of drainage basins was achieved using an automatic procedure, which gave similar results to earlier hand-drawn catchment basins. More than 1800 published and unpublished in situ measurements of net surface mass balance from Antarctica were collated and then interpolated. A net surface mass balance map was derived from passive microwave satellite data, being employed as a forcing field to control the interpolation of the sparse in situ observations. Basinwide integrals of net surface mass balance were calculated using tools available within a geographic information system. It is found that the integrated net surface mass balance over the conterminous grounded ice sheet is 1811 Gton yr−1 (149 kg m−2 yr−1), and over the entire continent (including ice shelves and their embedded ice rises) it is 2288 Gton yr−1 (166 kg m−2 yr−1). These values are around 18% and 7% higher than the estimates widely adopted at present. The uncertainty in these values is hard to estimate from the methodology alone, but the progression of estimates from early studies to the present suggests that around ±5% uncertainty remains in the overall values. The results serve to confirm the great uncertainty in the overall contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to recent and future global sea level rise even without a substantial collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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Andrea K. Gerlak
,
Zack Guido
,
Catherine Vaughan
,
Valerie Rountree
,
Christina Greene
,
Diana Liverman
,
Adrian R. Trotman
,
Roché Mahon
,
Shelly-Ann Cox
,
Simon J. Mason
,
Katharine L. Jacobs
,
James L. Buizer
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
, and
Walter E. Baethgen

Abstract

In many regions around the world, Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs) provide seasonal climate information and forecasts to decision-makers at regional and national levels. Despite having two decades of experience, the forums have not been systematically monitored or evaluated. To address this gap, and to better inform nascent and widespread efforts in climate services, the authors propose a process-oriented evaluation framework derived from literature on decision support and climate communication around the production and use of scientific information. The authors apply this framework to a case study of the Caribbean RCOF (CariCOF), where they have been engaged in a collaborative effort to integrate climate information and decision processes to enhance regional climate resilience. The authors’ examination of the CariCOF shows an evolution toward the use of more advanced and more diverse climate products, as well as greater awareness of user feedback. It also reveals shortfalls of the CariCOF, including a lack of diverse stakeholder participation, a need for better understanding of best practices to tailor information, undeveloped market research of climate products, insufficient experimentation and vetting of communication mechanisms, and the absence of a way to steward a diverse network of regional actors. The authors’ analysis also provides insight that allowed for improvements in the climate services framework to include mechanisms to respond to changing needs and conditions. The authors’ process-oriented framework can serve as a starting point for evaluating RCOFs and other organizations charged with the provision of climate services.

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H. J. Christian
,
R. L. Frost
,
P. H. Gillaspy
,
S. J. Goodman
,
O. H. Vaughan Jr.
,
M. Brook
,
B. Vonnegut
, and
R. E. Orville

In order to determine how to achieve orders of magnitude improvement in spatial and temporal resolution and in sensitivity of satellite lightning sensors, better quantitative measurements of the characteristics of the optical emissions from lightning as observed from above tops of thunderclouds are required. A number of sensors have been developed and integrated into an instrument package and flown aboard a NASA U-2 aircraft. The objectives have been to acquire optical lightning data needed for designing the lightning mapper sensor, and to study lightning physics and the correlation of lightning activity with storm characteristics. The instrumentation and observations of the program are reviewed and their significance for future research is discussed.

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James R. Campbell
,
David A. Peterson
,
Jared W. Marquis
,
Gilberto J. Fochesatto
,
Mark A. Vaughan
,
Sebastian A. Stewart
,
Jason L. Tackett
,
Simone Lolli
,
Jasper R. Lewis
,
Mayra I. Oyola
, and
Ellsworth J. Welton
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N. R. P. Harris
,
L. J. Carpenter
,
J. D. Lee
,
G. Vaughan
,
M. T. Filus
,
R. L. Jones
,
B. OuYang
,
J. A. Pyle
,
A. D. Robinson
,
S. J. Andrews
,
A. C. Lewis
,
J. Minaeian
,
A. Vaughan
,
J. R. Dorsey
,
M. W. Gallagher
,
M. Le Breton
,
R. Newton
,
C. J. Percival
,
H. M. A. Ricketts
,
S. J.-B. Bauguitte
,
G. J. Nott
,
A. Wellpott
,
M. J. Ashfold
,
J. Flemming
,
R. Butler
,
P. I. Palmer
,
P. H. Kaye
,
C. Stopford
,
C. Chemel
,
H. Boesch
,
N. Humpage
,
A. Vick
,
A. R. MacKenzie
,
R. Hyde
,
P. Angelov
,
E. Meneguz
, and
A. J. Manning

Abstract

The main field activities of the Coordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics (CAST) campaign took place in the west Pacific during January–February 2014. The field campaign was based in Guam (13.5°N, 144.8°E), using the U.K. Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) BAe-146 atmospheric research aircraft, and was coordinated with the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) project with an unmanned Global Hawk and the Convective Transport of Active Species in the Tropics (CONTRAST) campaign with a Gulfstream V aircraft. Together, the three aircraft were able to make detailed measurements of atmospheric structure and composition from the ocean surface to 20 km. These measurements are providing new information about the processes influencing halogen and ozone levels in the tropical west Pacific, as well as the importance of trace-gas transport in convection for the upper troposphere and stratosphere. The FAAM aircraft made a total of 25 flights in the region between 1°S and 14°N and 130° and 155°E. It was used to sample at altitudes below 8 km, with much of the time spent in the marine boundary layer. It measured a range of chemical species and sampled extensively within the region of main inflow into the strong west Pacific convection. The CAST team also made ground-based measurements of a number of species (including daily ozonesondes) at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program site on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (2.1°S, 147.4°E). This article presents an overview of the CAST project, focusing on the design and operation of the west Pacific experiment. It additionally discusses some new developments in CAST, including flights of new instruments on board the Global Hawk in February–March 2015.

Open access

The CALIPSO Mission

A Global 3D View of Aerosols and Clouds

D. M. Winker
,
J. Pelon
,
J. A. Coakley Jr.
,
S. A. Ackerman
,
R. J. Charlson
,
P. R. Colarco
,
P. Flamant
,
Q. Fu
,
R. M. Hoff
,
C. Kittaka
,
T. L. Kubar
,
H. Le Treut
,
M. P. Mccormick
,
G. Mégie
,
L. Poole
,
K. Powell
,
C. Trepte
,
M. A. Vaughan
, and
B. A. Wielicki

Aerosols and clouds have important effects on Earth's climate through their effects on the radiation budget and the cycling of water between the atmosphere and Earth's surface. Limitations in our understanding of the global distribution and properties of aerosols and clouds are partly responsible for the current uncertainties in modeling the global climate system and predicting climate change. The CALIPSO satellite was developed as a joint project between NASA and the French space agency CNES to provide needed capabilities to observe aerosols and clouds from space. CALIPSO carries CALIOP, a two-wavelength, polarization-sensitive lidar, along with two passive sensors operating in the visible and thermal infrared spectral regions. CALIOP is the first lidar to provide long-term atmospheric measurements from Earth's orbit. Its profiling and polarization capabilities offer unique measurement capabilities. Launched together with the CloudSat satellite in April 2006 and now flying in formation with the A-train satellite constellation, CALIPSO is now providing information on the distribution and properties of aerosols and clouds, which is fundamental to advancing our understanding and prediction of climate. This paper provides an overview of the CALIPSO mission and instruments, the data produced, and early results.

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