Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.

 

Associated content: 

Multiple-Angle Aerosol Spectrometer Probe

The Multiple-Angle Aerosol Spectrometer Probe (MASP) determines the size and concentration of particles from about 0.3 to 20 microns in diameter and the index of refraction for selected sizes. Size is determined by measuring the light intensity scattered by individual particles as they transit a laser beam of 0.780µm wavelength. Light scattered from particles into a cone from 30 to 60 degrees forward and 120 to 150 degrees backwards is reflected by a mangin mirror through a condensing lens to the detectors. A comparison of the signals from the open aperture detector and the masked aperture detector is used to accept only those particles passing through the center of the laser beam. The size of the particle is determined from the total scattered light. The index of refraction of particles can be estimated from the ratio of the forward to back scatter signals. A calibration diode laser is pulsed periodically during flight to ensure proper operation of the electronics. The shrouded inlet minimizes angle of attack effects and maintains isokinetic flow through the sensing volume so that volatilization of particles is eliminated.

Instrument Type: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

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.

Instrument Type: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Focused Cavity Aerosol Spectrometer

The FCAS II sizes particles in the approximate diameter range from 0.07 mm to 1 mm. Particles are sampled from the free stream with a near isokinetic sampler and are transported to the instrument. They are then passed through a laser beam and the light scattered by individual particles is measured. Particle size is related to the scattered light. The data reduction for the FCAS II takes into account the water which is evaporated from the particle in sampling and the effects of anisokinetic sampling (Jonsson et al., 1995).

The FCAS II and its predecessors have provided accurate aerosol size distribution measurements throughout the evolution of the volcanic cloud produced by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. (Wilson et al., 1993). Near co-incidences between FCAS II and SAGE II measurements show good agreement between optical extinctions calculated from FCAS size distributions and extinctions measured by SAGE II.

Accuracy: The instrument has been calibrated with monodisperse aerosol carrying a single charge. The FCAS III and the electrometer agree to within 10%. Sampling errors may increase the uncertainty but a variety of comparisons suggests that total uncertainties in aerosol surface are near 30% (Jonsson, et al., 1995).

Precision: The precision equals 1/ÖN where N is the number of particles counted. In many instances the precision on concentration measurements may reach 7% for 0.1 Hz data. If better precision is desired, it is necessary only to accumulate over longer time intervals.

Response Time: Data are processed at 0.1 Hz. However, the response time depends upon the precision required to detect the change in question. Small changes may require longer times to detect. Plume measurements may be processed with 1 s resolution.

Weight: Approximately 50 lbs.

Instrument Type: 
Aircraft: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Airborne Compact Atmospheric Mapper

Two spectrographs + HD video camera

Air Quality (AQ) 304:520 nm 0.8 nm resolution (NO2, O3, UV absorbing aerosols, SO2, HCHO)

Ocean Color (OC) 460:900 nm 1.5 nm resolution

Video camera (2592x1936 pixels) –3 pixel FWHM

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - GloPac