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ORACLES – Observations of aerosols above cLouds and their interactions / Earth Venture Suborbital-2 (EVS-2)

Friday, September 16, 2016

The ER-2 and the P-3 performed three coordinated science flights on September 10, 12, and 14.  Amongst many other instruments were JPL’s AirMSPI onboard the ER-2 and APR-3 on the P-3.  Initial qualitative data analysis shows a distinct smoke layer embedded between the low marine stratocumulus cloud layer and mid-level convective cumulus clouds. A few high cirrus clouds were observed as well. One AirMSPI data acquisition was performed above the P-3 observing the solar radiance field above, within, and below the aerosol layer over one of the rare cloud-free Atlantic Ocean areas. Many of the main ORACLES observing goals could therefore be achieved early in the deployment.

AirMSPI quick look from September 10 of nadir looking data showing an RGB image of the complex atmospheric structure with a smoke layer between low and mid-level cloud layers.

AirMSPI quick look from September 10 showing the full range of viewing angles from 65 degrees forward to 65 degrees backward along the vertical image axis, which represents the flight direction (nadir is in the middle of the image). The DOLP image in the right shows polarization information in three spectral bands. A vertical cut through the center is shown on the far right to illustrate the spectral dependence of the polarization information, which is used in the retrieval of cloud microphysical properties.