An Airborne Precipitation Cloud Particle Charge Measurement Device and Analysis System

C. P. R. Saunders Physics Department, University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester, England

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R. L. Pitter Atmospheric Sciences Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

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B. A. Gardiner Atmospheric Sciences Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

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J. Hallett Atmospheric Sciences Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

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Abstract

A system is described for measurement and analysis of precipitation particle charge from an aircraft in the highly variable and harsh environment of a convective cloud. A compromise, practical instrument design enables particle charge and sign to be measured with concentrations up to 5 L−1. The system employs two induction rings in series; it is de-iced both on the electrostatic shield and internally. New techniques are described which enable rapid analysis of sequential charge data over a penetration period of 55 s, with rejection of spurious data pulses resulting from particle impaction.

Abstract

A system is described for measurement and analysis of precipitation particle charge from an aircraft in the highly variable and harsh environment of a convective cloud. A compromise, practical instrument design enables particle charge and sign to be measured with concentrations up to 5 L−1. The system employs two induction rings in series; it is de-iced both on the electrostatic shield and internally. New techniques are described which enable rapid analysis of sequential charge data over a penetration period of 55 s, with rejection of spurious data pulses resulting from particle impaction.

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