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CAESAR: Cirrus and Anvils European Satellite and Airborne Radiation measurements project

Clouds

The first phase of the CAESAR field experiment to validate remotely sensed atmospheric data products from satellite sensors is currently underway in southern England. As part of this work, an instrumented aircraft from the NERC/Met Office Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) is being flown over sites in southern England and the English Channel. Earlier this week the aircraft was diverted to collect data from the smoke plume resulting from the fire at the Buncefield oil storage depot.

CAESAR is a field campaign designed to understand the radiative properties of cirrus cloud over a wide range of wavelengths in combination with airborne in-situ measurements of cirrus microphysical properties. Flights using the FAAM BAe-146 are measuring frontal and anvil cirrus, co-incident with data from sensors on-board ENVISAT, Meteosat and the A-train constellation, and these will be compared with data from the Chilbolton cloud radars and lidars. Aircraft measurements will be used to obtain maps and vertical profiles of ice crystal size, shape and ice water content (IWC). This is the first part of a three-phase experiment which will continue through 2006-2007.

The scientific aims of the project are:

1. To improve the representation of cirrus clouds in Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate Studies.
2. To perform closure studies relating the cloud microphysics to remote sensing data across the visible, thermal infrared, far infrared and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
3. To validate remotely sensed products from the A-train, AATSR, Seviri and the Chilbolton radars.

Phase 1 of CAESAR is being run in conjunction with a Met Office project called MICROMIX, a microwave investigation of mixed phase clouds.

Further information:

Interview with Dr Clare Lee on the use of FAAm BAe-146 for the incident at Buncefield fuel depot.

A-train constellation: http://www-calipso.larc.nasa.gov/about/atrain.php
CLOUDSAT: http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/
AATSR: http://envisat.esa.int/instruments/aatsr/
Seviri: http://www.astrium.eads.net/corp/prod/00000842.htm

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Last updated 26/10/2005
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