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ATOC Seminar: New atmospheric observation capabilities to advance cloud & boundary layer process stu

Friday, March 10, 2017, 2:00PM - 3:00PM


Zhien Wang

University of Wyoming


SEEC Auditorium (C120)

New and improved observation capabilities are essential to advance our understanding of Earth system science. The presentation will first highlight our efforts in developing new cloud observation capabilities by combining multi-sensor (lidar, radar, and radiometer) measurements.  Algorithms have been developed and applied for cloud detection, cloud type, phase classification, and cloud microphysical property retrievals with multi-sensor measurements from DOE ARM sites or NASA A-train satellites.  With compact Wyoming cloud lidars developed in-house, we demonstrated the single-aircraft integration (from NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft and University of Wyoming King Air) of lidar, radar, microwave radiometer, and it situ probe measurements as an effective way to enhance airborne cloud observation capabilities.  Multi-sensor cloud observations from the ground, aircraft, and satellites complement each other and provide much-needed cloud properties to advance our understanding of cloud microphysical processes and to further improve cloud presentation in weather and climate models.  To illustrate the new potentials of multi-platform, multi-sensor cloud observations, our progress in understanding ice generation in stratiform mixed-phase clouds will be discussed.

Secondly, new atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) observation capabilities will be presented. The ABL couples the Earth subsystems, thus plays a critical role in the Earth system. However, reliable simulation of ABL in weather and climate models is still a challenging task. Improved observations at fine spatial and temporal scales are needed to further advance our understanding of ABL processes and to improve their representations in models. Airborne Raman lidars have been developed to transform our capability to observe ABL at horizontal resolutions ranging from ~100 m to ~1 km with simultaneous aerosol/cloud, water vapor, and temperature profiles. Observation examples from a compact Raman lidar system deployed during the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) campaign will be shown to illustrate the new capability to characterize ABL structure around convective storms. A new Multi-function Airborne Raman Lidar (MARLi) also has been developed and successfully flight-tested in summer 2016. It has the potential to revolutionize a range of atmospheric processes studies. MARLi observation examples of marine ABL, ocean upper mixing layer, entrainment/mixing across the stratocumulus topped ABL will be displayed to highlight exciting future research.


Free and open to the public.