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Langley Cloud Probes

The LARGE group operates a suite of probes to measure in-situ cloud microphysical properties. Probes are typically mounted at an under-wing or wing-tip position in unperturbed air. The package of probes can be tailored to specific science objectives or mounting-point availability considerations. The following probes are available:

CAPS (Cloud, Aerosol, Precipitation Spectrometer), Droplet Measurement Technologies.  The CAPS contains individual sensors.  The CAS (Cloud Aerosol Spectrometer) measures size distributions of clouds and aerosols between 0.5-50µm diameter using forward-scattered light intensity from a 658nm laser. Response is calibrated with glass beads. The CIP (Cloud Imaging Spectrometer) measures size distributions of droplet and precipitation particles between 15-150µm diameter recording shadows on an optical array. The CIP is calibrated using a spinning disk. A hotwire is also used to measure total liquid-water-content. Each probe utilizes a local measurment of airspeed, temperature, and static pressure for quantification and has de-icing capability.
CDP (Cloud Droplet Probe), Droplet Measurement Technologies. The CDP measures droplet and aerosol size distributions between 2-50µm diameter using forward-scattering from a 658nm laser.  The probe is calibrated with glass beads and has de-icing capability.
WCM-2000 (Science Engineering Associates).  Measures Liquid Water Content (LWC) using two independent hotwire elements, Total Water Content (TWC) using a scoop sensor, and an element oriented parallel with the airstream as a control to establish the background response at that specific airspeed, temperature, and pressure.  Ice Water Content (IWC) is calculated as the difference between TWC and LWC. Each element operates by maintaining a constant temperature, and the current necessary to maintain that temperature is related directly with water content.  

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DC-8 - AFRC, P-3 Orion - WFF, C-130 - WFF, HU-25 Falcon - LaRC
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Microbiome of the upper troposphere: Species composition and prevalence, effects of tropical storms, and atmospheric implications

DeLeon-Rodriguez, N., et al. (2013), Microbiome of the upper troposphere: Species composition and prevalence, effects of tropical storms, and atmospheric implications, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., doi:10.1073/pnas.1212089110.

Hurricane Imaging Radiometer

HIRAD is a multi-frequency, hurricane imaging, interferometric single-pol passive C-band radiometer, operating from 4 GHz to 7 GHz, with both cross-track and along-track resolution that measures strong ocean surface winds through heavy rain from an aircraft or space-based platform. A one-dimensional thinned synthetic aperture array antenna is used to obtain wide-swath measurements with multiple simultaneous beams in a push-broom configuration. HIRAD features software beam forming with no moving parts, internal hot, cold, and noise diode based calibration, and continuous, gap-free imaging. Its swath width is approximately 60 degrees in either direction. There are two products: rain rate and wind speed.

The basis of the HIRAD design is the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) that has successfully measured surface wind speed and rain rate in hurricanes from the NOAA Hurricane Research Division’s (HRD) P-3 aircraft. Unlike the SFMR that views only at nadir, the HIRAD provides wide-swath measurements between ± 40 degrees in incidence angle with a spot-beam spatial resolution of approximately 1-3 km. HIRAD would be able to provide high resolution hurricane imaging when used on an operational hurricane surveillance aircraft such as the NOAA HRD’s Gulfstream-IV.

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High Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler

HIWRAP (High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler) is a dual-frequency radar (Ka- and Ku-band), dual-beam (300 and 400 incidence angle), conical scan, solid-state transmitter-based system, designed for operation on the high-altitude (20 km) Global Hawk UAV. HIWRAP characteristics: Conically scanning; Simultaneous Ku/Ka-band & two beams @30 and 40 deg; Winds using precipitation & clouds as tracers; Ocean vector wind scatterometry; Map the 3-dimensional winds and precipitation within hurricanes and other severe weather events; Map ocean surface winds in clear to light rain regions using scatterometry.

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Airborne Second Generation Precipitation Radar

The APR-2 is a dual-frequency (13 GHz & 35 GHz), Doppler, dual-polarization radar system. It has a downward looking antenna that performs cross track scans, covering a swath that is +/- 25 to each side of the aircraft path. Additional features include: simultaneous dual-frequency, matched beam operation at 13.4 and 35.6 GHz (same as GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar), simultaneous measurement of both like- and cross-polarized signals at both frequencies, Doppler operation, and real-time pulse compression (calibrated reflectivity data can be produced for large areas in the field during flight, if necessary).

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