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Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3)

The Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is a five-year mission specifically targeted to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin. HS3 is motivated by hypotheses related to the relative roles of the large-scale environment and storm-scale internal processes. HS3 addresses the controversial role of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) in tropical storm formation and intensification as well as the role of deep convection in the inner-core region of storms.

Scanning High-Resolution Interferometer Sounder

The Scanning High-resolution Interferometer Sounder (S-HIS) is a scanning interferometer which measures emitted thermal radiation at high spectral resolution between 3.3 and 18 microns The measured emitted radiance is used to obtain temperature and water vapor profiles of the Earth's atmosphere in clear-sky conditions. S-HIS produces sounding data with 2 kilometer resolution (at nadir) across a 40 kilometer ground swath from a nominal altitude of 20 kilometers onboard a NASA ER-2 or Global Hawk.

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High Altitude Monolithic Microwave integrated Circuit (MMIC) Sounding Radiometer

The High Altitude Monolithic Microwave integrated Circuit (MMIC) Sounding Radiometer (HAMSR) is a microwave atmospheric sounder developed by JPL under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program. Operating with 25 spectral channels in 3 bands (50-60 Ghz, 118 Ghz, 183 Ghz), it provides measurements that can be used to infer the 3-D distribution of temperature, water vapor, and cloud liquid water in the atmosphere, even in the presence of clouds. The new UAV-HAMSR with 183GHz LNA receiver reduces noise to less than a 0.1K level improving observations of small-scale water vapor. HAMSR is mounted in payload zone 3 near the nose of the Global Hawk.

HAMSR was designed and built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program and uses advanced technology to achieve excellent performance in a small package. It was first deployed in the field in the 2001 Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4) - a hurricane field campaign organized jointly by NASA and the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) of NOAA in Florida. HAMSR also participated in the Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) hurricane field campaign in Costa Rica in 2005. In both campaigns HAMSR flew as a payload on the NASA high-altitude ER-2 aircraft. It was also one of the payloads in the 2006 NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Activities (NAMMA) field campaign in Cape Verde - this time using the NASA DC-8. HAMSR provides observations similar to those obtained with microwave sounders currently operating on NASA, NOAA and ESA spacecraft, and this offers an opportunity for valuable comparative analyses.

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Cloud Physics Lidar

The Cloud Physics Lidar, or CPL, is a backscatter lidar designed to operate simultaneously at 3 wavelengths: 1064, 532, and 355 nm. The purpose of the CPL is to provide multi-wavelength measurements of cirrus, subvisual cirrus, and aerosols with high temporal and spatial resolution. Figure 1 shows the entire CPL package in flight configuration. The CPL utilizes state-of-the-art technology with a high repetition rate, low pulse energy laser and photon-counting detection. Vertical resolution of the CPL measurements is fixed at 30 m; horizontal resolution can vary but is typically about 200 m. The CPL fundamentally measures range-resolved profiles of volume 180-degree backscatter coefficients. From the fundamental measurement, various data products are derived, including: time-height crosssection images; cloud and aerosol layer boundaries; optical depth for clouds, aerosol layers, and planetary boundary layer (PBL); and extinction profiles. The CPL was designed to fly on the NASA ER-2 aircraft but is adaptable to other platforms. Because the ER-2 typically flies at about 65,000 feet (20 km), onboard instruments are above 94% of the earth’s atmosphere, allowing ER-2 instruments to function as spaceborne instrument simulators. The ER-2 provides a unique platform for atmospheric profiling, particularly for active remote sensing instruments such as lidar, because the spatial coverage attainable by the ER-2 permits studies of aerosol properties across wide regions. Lidar profiling from the ER-2 platform is especially valuable because the cloud height structure, up to the limit of signal attenuation, is unambiguously measured.

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