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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dragoneas, Antonis; Molleker, Sergej; Appel, Oliver; Hünig, Andreas; Böttger, Thomas; Hermann, Markus; Drewnick, Frank; Schneider, Johannes; Weigel, Ralf; Borrmann, Stephan;
    Project: EC | STRATOCLIM (603557), EC | EXCATRO (321040)

    We report on the developments that enabled the field deployment of a fully automated aerosol mass spectrometer, especially designed for high-altitude measurements on unpressurized aircraft. The merits of the two main categories of real-time aerosol mass spectrometry, i.e. (a) single-particle laser desorption and ionization and (b) continuous thermal desorption and electron impact ionization of aerosols, have been integrated into one compact apparatus with the aim to perform in situ real-time analysis of aerosol chemical composition. The demonstrated instrument, named the ERICA (European Research Council Instrument for Chemical composition of Aerosols), operated successfully aboard the high-altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysica at altitudes up to 20 km while being exposed to ambient conditions of very low atmospheric pressure and temperature. A primary goal of those field deployments was the in situ study of the Asian tropopause aerosol layer (ATAL). During 11 research flights, the instrument operated for more than 49 h and collected chemical composition information of more than 150 000 single particles combined with quantitative chemical composition analysis of aerosol particle ensembles. This paper presents in detail the technical characteristics of the main constituent parts of the instrument, as well as the design considerations for its integration into the aircraft and its autonomous operation in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). Additionally, system performance data from the first field deployments of the instrument are presented and discussed, together with exemplary mass spectrometry data collected during those flights.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Singer, Clare E.; Clouser, Benjamin W.; Khaykin, Sergey M.; Krämer, Martina; Cairo, Francesco; Peter, Thomas; Lykov, Alexey; Rolf, Christian; Spelten, Nicole; Afchine, Armin; +2 more
    Project: EC | STRATOCLIM (603557)

    In situ measurements in the climatically important upper troposphere–lower stratosphere (UTLS) are critical for understanding controls on cloud formation, the entry of water into the stratosphere, and hydration–dehydration of the tropical tropopause layer. Accurate in situ measurement of water vapor in the UTLS however is difficult because of low water vapor concentrations (<5 ppmv) and a challenging low temperature–pressure environment. The StratoClim campaign out of Kathmandu, Nepal, in July and August 2017, which made the first high-altitude aircraft measurements in the Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM), also provided an opportunity to intercompare three in situ hygrometers mounted on the M-55 Geophysica: ChiWIS (Chicago Water Isotope Spectrometer), FISH (Fast In situ Stratospheric Hygrometer), and FLASH (Fluorescent Lyman-α Stratospheric Hygrometer). Instrument agreement was very good, suggesting no intrinsic technique-dependent biases: ChiWIS measures by mid-infrared laser absorption spectroscopy and FISH and FLASH by Lyman-α induced fluorescence. In clear-sky UTLS conditions (H2O<10 ppmv), mean and standard deviations of differences in paired observations between ChiWIS and FLASH were only (-1.4±5.9) % and those between FISH and FLASH only (-1.5±8.0) %. Agreement between ChiWIS and FLASH for in-cloud conditions is even tighter, at (+0.7±7.6) %. Estimated realized instrumental precision in UTLS conditions was 0.05, 0.2, and 0.1 ppmv for ChiWIS, FLASH, and FISH, respectively. This level of accuracy and precision allows the confident detection of fine-scale spatial structures in UTLS water vapor required for understanding the role of convection and the ASM in the stratospheric water vapor budget.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    García, Omaira E.; Sanromá, Esther; Hase, Frank; Schneider, Matthias; León-Luis, Sergio Fabián; Blumenstock, Thomas; Sepúlveda, Eliezer; Torres, Carlos; Prats, Natalia; Redondas, Alberto; +1 more
    Project: EC | MUSICA (256961)

    Retrieving high-precision concentrations of atmospheric trace gases from FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectrometry requires a precise knowledge of the instrumental performance. In this context, this paper examines the impact on the ozone (O3) retrievals of several approaches used to characterize the instrumental line shape (ILS) function of ground-based FTIR spectrometers within NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change). The analysis has been carried out at the subtropical Izaña Observatory (IZO, Spain) by using the 20-year time series of the high-resolution FTIR solar absorption spectra acquired between 1999 and 2018. The theoretical quality assessment and the comparison to independent O3 observations available at IZO (Brewer O3 total columns and electrochemical concentration cell, ECC, sondes) reveal consistent findings. The inclusion of a simultaneous retrieval of the ILS parameters in the O3 retrieval strategy allows, on the one hand, a rough instrumental characterization to be obtained and, on the other hand, the precision of the FTIR O3 products to be slightly improved. The improvement is of special relevance above the lower stratosphere, where the cross-interference between the O3 vertical distribution and the instrumental performance is more significant. However, it has been found that the simultaneous ILS retrieval leads to a misinterpretation of the O3 variations on daily and seasonal scales. Therefore, in order to ensure the independence of the O3 retrievals and the instrumental response, the optimal approach to deal with the FTIR instrumental characterization is found to be the continuous monitoring of the ILS function by means of independent observations, such as gas cell measurements.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    García, Omaira Elena; Sanromá, Esther; Schneider, Matthias; Hase, Frank; León-Luis, Sergio Fabián; Blumenstock, Thomas; Sepúlveda, Eliezer; Redondas, Alberto; Carreño, Virgilio; Torres, Carlos; +1 more
    Project: EC | MUSICA (256961)

    Accurate observations of atmospheric ozone (O3) are essential to monitor in detail its key role in atmospheric chemistry. The present paper examines the performance of different O3 retrieval strategies from FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectrometry by using the 20-year time series of the high-resolution solar spectra acquired from 1999 to 2018 at the subtropical Izaña Observatory (IZO, Spain) within NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change). In particular, the effects of two of the most influential factors have been investigated: the inclusion of a simultaneous atmospheric temperature profile fit and the spectral O3 absorption lines used for the retrievals (the broad spectral region of 1000–1005 cm−1 and single micro-windows between 991 and 1014 cm−1). Additionally, the water vapour (H2O) interference in O3 retrievals has been evaluated, with the aim of providing an improved O3 strategy that minimises its impact and, therefore, could be applied at any NDACC FTIR station under different humidity conditions. The theoretical and experimental quality assessments of the different FTIR O3 products (total column (TC) amounts and volume mixing ratio (VMR) profiles) provide consistent results. Combining a simultaneous temperature retrieval with the optimal selection of single O3 micro-windows results in superior FTIR O3 products, with a precision of better than 0.6 %–0.7 % for O3 TCs as compared to coincident NDACC Brewer observations taken as a reference. However, this improvement can only be achieved provided the FTIR spectrometer is properly characterised and stable over time. For unstable instruments, the temperature fit is found to exhibit a strong negative influence on O3 retrievals due to the increase in the cross-interference between the temperature retrieval and instrumental performance (given by the instrumental line shape function and measurement noise), which leads to a worsening of the precision of FTIR O3 TCs of up to 2 %. This cross-interference becomes especially noticeable beyond the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, as documented theoretically as well as experimentally by comparing FTIR O3 profiles to those measured using electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) sondes within NDACC. Consequently, it should be taken into account for the reliable monitoring of the O3 vertical distribution, especially over long-term timescales.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Singer, Clare E.; Clouser, Benjamin; Khaykin, Sergey; Krämer, Martina; Cairo, Francesco; Peter, Thomas; Lykov, Alexey; Rolf, Christian; Spelten, Nicole; Brunamonti, Simone; +1 more
    Project: EC | STRATOCLIM (603557)

    In situ measurements in the climatically important upper troposphere / lower stratosphere (UTLS) are critical for understanding controls on cloud formation, the entry of water into the stratosphere, and hydration/dehydration of the tropical tropopause layer. Accurate in situ measurement of water vapor in the UTLS however is difficult because of low water vapor concentrations (< 5 ppmv) and a challenging low temperature/pressure environment. The StratoClim campaign out of Kathmandu, Nepal in July and August 2017, which made the first high-altitude aircraft measurements in the Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM), also provided an opportunity to intercompare three in situ hygrometers mounted on the M-55 Geophysica: ChiWIS (Chicago Water Isotope Spectrometer), FISH (Fast In situ Stratospheric Hygrometer), and FLASH (Fluorescent Lyman-α Stratospheric Hygrometer). Instrument agreement was very good, suggesting no intrinsic technique-dependent biases: ChiWIS measures by mid-infrared laser absorption spectroscopy and FISH and FLASH by Lyman-α induced fluorescence. In clear-sky UTLS conditions (H2O < 10 ppmv), mean differences between ChiWIS and FLASH were only −1.42 % and those between FISH and FLASH only −1.47 %. Agreement between ChiWIS and FLASH for in-cloud conditions is even tighter, at +0.74 %. In general, ChiWIS and FLASH agreed to better than 10 % for 92 % (87 %) of clear-sky (in-cloud) datapoints. Agreement between FISH and FLASH to 10 % occurred in 78 % of clear-sky datapoints. Estimated realized instrumental precision in UTLS conditions was 0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 ppmv for ChiWIS, FISH, and FLASH, respectively. This level of accuracy and precision allows the confident detection of fine-scale spatial structures in UTLS water vapor required for understanding the role of convection and the ASM in the stratospheric water vapor budget.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kalesse-Los, Heike; Schimmel, Willi; Luke, Edward; Seifert, Patric;
    Project: EC | ITARS (289923)

    Detection of liquid-containing cloud layers in thick mixed-phase clouds or multi-layer cloud situations from ground-based remote-sensing instruments still poses observational challenges, yet improvements are crucial since the existence of multi-layer liquid layers in mixed-phase cloud situations influences cloud radiative effects, cloud lifetime, and precipitation formation processes. Hydrometeor target classifications such as from Cloudnet that require a lidar signal for the classification of liquid are limited to the maximum height of lidar signal penetration and thus often lead to underestimations of liquid-containing cloud layers. Here we evaluate the Cloudnet liquid detection against the approach of Luke et al. (2010) which extracts morphological features in cloud-penetrating cloud radar Doppler spectra measurements in an artificial neural network (ANN) approach to classify liquid beyond full lidar signal attenuation based on the simulation of the two lidar parameters particle backscatter coefficient and particle depolarization ratio. We show that the ANN of Luke et al. (2010) which was trained under Arctic conditions can successfully be applied to observations at the mid-latitudes obtained during the 7-week-long ACCEPT field experiment in Cabauw, the Netherlands, in 2014. In a sensitivity study covering the whole duration of the ACCEPT campaign, different liquid-detection thresholds for ANN-predicted lidar variables are applied and evaluated against the Cloudnet target classification. Independent validation of the liquid mask from the standard Cloudnet target classification against the ANN-based technique is realized by comparisons to observations of microwave radiometer liquid-water path, ceilometer liquid-layer base altitude, and radiosonde relative humidity. In addition, a case-study comparison against the cloud feature mask detected by the space-borne lidar aboard the CALIPSO satellite is presented. Three conclusions were drawn from the investigation. First, it was found that the threshold selection criteria of liquid-related lidar backscatter and depolarization alone control the liquid detection considerably. Second, all threshold values used in the ANN framework were found to outperform the Cloudnet target classification for deep or multi-layer cloud situations where the lidar signal is fully attenuated within low liquid layers and the cloud radar is able to detect the microphysical fingerprint of liquid in higher cloud layers. Third, if lidar data are available, Cloudnet is at least as good as the ANN. The times when Cloudnet outperforms the ANN in liquid detections are often associated with situations where cloud dynamics smear the imprint of cloud microphysics on the radar Doppler spectra.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Cochrane, Sabrina P.; Schmidt, K. Sebastian; Chen, Hong; Pilewskie, Peter; Kittelman, Scott; Redemann, Jens; LeBlanc, Samuel; Pistone, Kristina; Segal Rozenhaimer, Michal; Kacenelenbogen, Meloë; +7 more
    Project: EC | EUFAR2 (312609)

    Aerosol heating due to shortwave absorption has implications for local atmospheric stability and regional dynamics. The derivation of heating rate profiles from space-based observations is challenging because it requires the vertical profile of relevant properties such as the aerosol extinction coefficient and single-scattering albedo (SSA). In the southeastern Atlantic, this challenge is amplified by the presence of stratocumulus clouds below the biomass burning plume advected from Africa, since the cloud properties affect the magnitude of the aerosol heating aloft, which may in turn lead to changes in the cloud properties and life cycle. The combination of spaceborne lidar data with passive imagers shows promise for future derivations of heating rate profiles and curtains, but new algorithms require careful testing with data from aircraft experiments where measurements of radiation, aerosol, and cloud parameters are better colocated and readily available. In this study, we derive heating rate profiles and vertical cross sections (curtains) from aircraft measurements during the NASA ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS (ORACLES) project in the southeastern Atlantic. Spectrally resolved irradiance measurements and the derived column absorption allow for the separation of total heating rates into aerosol and gas (primarily water vapor) absorption. The nine cases we analyzed capture some of the co-variability of heating rate profiles and their primary drivers, leading to the development of a new concept: the heating rate efficiency (HRE; the heating rate per unit aerosol extinction). HRE, which accounts for the overall aerosol loading as well as vertical distribution of the aerosol layer, varies little with altitude as opposed to the standard heating rate. The large case-to-case variability for ORACLES is significantly reduced after converting from heating rate to HRE, allowing us to quantify its dependence on SSA, cloud albedo, and solar zenith angle.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kloss, Corinna; Tan, Vicheith; Leen, J. Brian; Madsen, Garrett L.; Gardner, Aaron; Du, Xu; Kulessa, Thomas; Schillings, Johannes; Schneider, Herbert; Schrade, Stefanie; +2 more
    Project: EC | STRATOCLIM (603557)

    We describe the Airborne Mid-Infrared Cavity enhanced Absorption spectrometer (AMICA) designed to measure trace gases in situ on research aircraft using Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (OA-ICOS). AMICA contains two largely independent and exchangeable OA-ICOS arrangements, allowing for the simultaneous measurement of multiple substances in different infrared wavelength windows tailored to scientific questions related to a particular flight mission. Three OA-ICOS setups have been implemented with the aim to measure OCS, CO2, CO, and H2O at 2050 cm−1; O3, NH3, and CO2 at 1034 cm−1; and HCN, C2H2, and N2O at 3331 cm−1. The 2050 cm−1 setup has been characterized in the laboratory and successfully used for atmospheric measurements during two campaigns with the research aircraft M55 Geophysica and one with the German HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft). For OCS and CO, data for scientific use have been produced with 5 % accuracy (15 % for CO below 60 ppb, due to additional uncertainties introduced by dilution of the standard) at typical atmospheric mixing ratios and laboratory-measured 1σ precision of 30 ppt for OCS and 3 ppb for CO at 0.5 Hz time resolution. For CO2, high absorption at atmospheric mixing ratios leads to saturation effects that limit sensitivity and complicate the spectral analysis, resulting in too large uncertainties for scientific use. For H2O, absorption is too weak to be measured at mixing ratios below 100 ppm. By further reducing electrical noise and improving the treatment of the baseline in the spectral retrieval, we hope to improve precision for OCS and CO, resolve the issues inhibiting useful CO2 measurements, and lower the detection limit for H2O. The 1035 and 3331 cm−1 arrangements have only partially been characterized and are still in development. Although both setups have been flown and recorded infrared spectra during field campaigns, no data for scientific use have yet been produced due to unresolved deviations of the retrieved mixing ratios to known standards (O3) or insufficient sensitivity (NH3, HCN, C2H2, N2O). The ∼100 kg instrument with a typical in-flight power consumption of about 500 VA is dimensioned to fit into one 19 in. rack typically used for deployment inside the aircraft cabin. Its rugged design and a pressurized and temperature-stabilized compartment containing the sensitive optical and electronic hardware also allow for deployment in payload bays outside the pressurized cabin even at high altitudes of 20 km. A sample flow system with two parallel proportional solenoid valves of different size orifices allows for precise regulation of cavity pressure over the wide range of inlet port pressures encountered between the ground and maximum flight altitudes. Sample flow of the order of 1 SLM (standard litre per minute) maintained by an exhaust-side pump limits the useful time resolution to about 2.5 s (corresponding to the average cavity flush time), equivalent to 500 m distance at a typical aircraft speed of 200 m s−1.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kudo, Rei; Diémoz, Henri; Estellés, Victor; Campanelli, Monica; Momoi, Masahiro; Marenco, Franco; Ryder, Claire L.; Ijima, Osamu; Uchiyama, Akihiro; Nakashima, Kouichi; +4 more
    Project: EC | EUFAR2 (312609)

    The Prede POM sky radiometer is a filter radiometer deployed worldwide in the SKYNET international network. A new method, called Skyrad pack MRI version 2 (MRI v2), is presented here to retrieve aerosol properties (size distribution, real and imaginary parts of the refractive index, single-scattering albedo, asymmetry factor, lidar ratio, and linear depolarization ratio), water vapor, and ozone column concentrations from the sky radiometer measurements. MRI v2 overcomes two limitations of previous methods (Skyrad pack versions 4.2 and 5, MRI version 1). One is the use of all the wavelengths of 315, 340, 380, 400, 500, 675, 870, 940, 1020, 1627, and 2200 nm if available from the sky radiometers, for example, in POM-02 models. The previous methods cannot use the wavelengths of 315, 940, 1627, and 2200 nm. This enables us to provide improved estimates of the aerosol optical properties, covering almost all the wavelengths of solar radiation. The other is the use of measurements in the principal plane geometry in addition to the solar almucantar plane geometry that is used in the previous versions. Measurements in the principal plane are regularly performed; however, they are currently not exploited despite being useful in the case of small solar zenith angles when the scattering angle distribution for almucantars becomes too small to yield useful information. Moreover, in the inversion algorithm, MRI v2 optimizes the smoothness constraints of the spectral dependencies of the refractive index and size distribution, and it changes the contribution of the diffuse radiances to the cost function according to the aerosol optical depth. This overcomes issues with the estimation of the size distribution and single-scattering albedo in the Skyrad pack version 4.2. The scattering model used here allows for non-spherical particles, improving results for mineral dust and permitting evaluation of the depolarization ratio. An assessment of the retrieval uncertainties using synthetic measurements shows that the best performance is obtained when the aerosol optical depth is larger than 0.2 at 500 nm. Improvements over the Skyrad pack versions 4.2 and 5 are obtained for the retrieved size distribution, imaginary part of the refractive index, single-scattering albedo, and lidar ratio at Tsukuba, Japan, while yielding comparable retrievals of the aerosol optical depth, real part of the refractive index, and asymmetry factor. A radiative closure study using surface solar irradiances from the Baseline Surface Radiation Network and the parameters retrieved from MRI v2 showed consistency, with a positive bias of the simulated global irradiance of about +1 %. Furthermore, the MRI v2 retrievals of the refractive index, single-scattering albedo, asymmetry factor, and size distribution have been found to be in agreement with integrated profiles of aircraft in situ measurements of two Saharan dust events at the Cape Verde archipelago during the Sunphotometer Airborne Validation Experiment in Dust (SAVEX-D) 2015 field campaign.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Perim de Faria, Julia; Bundke, Ulrich; Freedman, Andrew; Onasch, Timothy B.; Petzold, Andreas;
    Project: EC | ENVRI PLUS (654182), EC | IGAS (312311), EC | IAGOS-ERI (212128)

    An evaluation of the performance and relative accuracy of a Cavity Attenuated Phase-Shift Single Scattering Albedo Monitor (CAPS PMSSA; Aerodyne Research, Inc.) was conducted in an optical-closure study with proven technologies: Cavity Attenuated Phase-Shift Particle Extinction Monitor (CAPS PMex; Aerodyne Research, Inc.), three-wavelength integrating nephelometer (TSI Model 3563) and three-wavelength filter-based Particle Soot Absorption Photometer (PSAP; Radiance Research Inc.). The evaluation was conducted by connecting the instruments to a controlled aerosol generation system and comparing the measured scattering, extinction and absorption coefficients measured by the CAPS PMSSA with the independent measurements. Three different particle types were used to generate aerosol samples with single-scattering albedos (SSAs) ranging from 0.4 to 1.0 at 630 nm wavelength. The CAPS PMSSA measurements compared well with the proven technologies. Extinction measurement comparisons exhibited a slope of the linear regression line for the full dataset between 1.05 and 1.01, an intercept below ±1.5×10-6 m−1 (±1.5 Mm−1), and a regression coefficient R2>0.99, whereas scattering measurements had a slope between 0.90 and 1.04, an intercept of less than ±2.0×10-6 m−1 (2.0 Mm−1), and a coefficient R2>0.96. The derived CAPS PMSSA absorption compared well to the PSAP measurements for the small particle sizes and modest (0.4 to 0.6) SSA values tested, with a linear regression slope between 0.90 and 1.07, an intercept of ±3.0×10-6 m−1 (3.0 Mm−1), and a coefficient R2>0.99. For the SSA measurements, agreement was highest (regression slopes within 1 %) for SSA =1.0 particles at extinction levels of per tens of inverse megameters and above; however, as extinctions approach 0, small uncertainties in the baseline can introduce larger errors. SSA measurements for absorbing particles exhibited absolute differences up to 18 %, though it is not clear which measurement had the best relative accuracy. For a given particle type, the CAPS PMSSA instrument exhibited the lowest scatter around the average. This study demonstrates that the CAPS PMSSA is a robust and reliable instrument for the direct measurement of the scattering and extinction coefficients and thus SSA. This conclusion also holds for the indirect measurement of the absorption coefficient with the constraint that the relative accuracy of this particular determination degrades as the SSA and particle size increases.

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