PROGRESS REPORT OF FY 2004 ACTIVITIES: IMPROVED WATER VAPOR AND CLOUD RETRIEVALS AT THE NSA/AAO

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The basic goals of the research are to develop and test algorithms and deploy instruments that improve measurements of water vapor, cloud liquid, and cloud coverage, with a focus on the Arctic conditions of cold temperatures and low concentrations of water vapor. The importance of accurate measurements of column amounts of water vapor and cloud liquid has been well documented by scientists within the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program. Although several technologies have been investigated to measure these column amounts, microwave radiometers (MWR) have been used operationally by the ARM program for passive retrievals of these quantities: precipitable water vapor (PWV) ... continued below

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Westwater, E. R.; Leuskiy, V. V.; Klein, M.; Gasiewski, A. J. & Shaw, and J. A. November 1, 2004.

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The basic goals of the research are to develop and test algorithms and deploy instruments that improve measurements of water vapor, cloud liquid, and cloud coverage, with a focus on the Arctic conditions of cold temperatures and low concentrations of water vapor. The importance of accurate measurements of column amounts of water vapor and cloud liquid has been well documented by scientists within the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program. Although several technologies have been investigated to measure these column amounts, microwave radiometers (MWR) have been used operationally by the ARM program for passive retrievals of these quantities: precipitable water vapor (PWV) and integrated water liquid (IWL). The technology of PWV and IWL retrievals has advanced steadily since the basic 2-channel MWR was first deployed at ARM CART sites Important advances are the development and refinement of the tipcal calibration method [1,2], and improvement of forward model radiative transfer algorithms [3,4]. However, the concern still remains that current instruments deployed by ARM may be inadequate to measure low amounts of PWV and IWL. In the case of water vapor, this is especially important because of the possibility of scaling and/or quality control of radiosondes by the water amount. Extremely dry conditions, with PWV less than 3 mm, commonly occur in Polar Regions during the winter months. Accurate measurements of the PWV during such dry conditions are needed to improve our understanding of the regional radiation energy budgets. The results of a 1999 experiment conducted at the ARM North Slope of Alaska/Adjacent Arctic Ocean (NSA/AAO) site during March of 1999 [5] have shown that the strength associated with the 183 GHz water vapor absorption line makes radiometry in this frequency regime suitable for measuring low amounts of PWV. As a portion of our research, we conducted another millimeter wave radiometric experiment at the NSA/AAO in March-April 2004. This experiment relied heavily on our experiences of the 1999 experiment. Particular attention was paid to issues of radiometric calibration and radiosonde intercomparisons. Our theoretical and experimental work also supplements efforts by industry (F. Solheim, Private Communication) to develop sub-millimeter radiometers for ARM deployment. In addition to quantitative improvement of water vapor measurements at cold temperature, the impact of adding millimeter-wave window channels to improve the sensitivity to arctic clouds was studied. We also deployed an Infrared Cloud Imager (ICI) during this experiment, both for measuring continuous day-night statistics of the study of cloud coverage and identifying conditions suitable for tipcal analysis. This system provided the first capability of determining spatial cloud statistics continuously in both day and night at the NSA site and has been used to demonstrate that biases exist in inferring cloud statistics from either zenith-pointing active sensors (lidars or radars) or sky imagers that rely on scattered sunlight in daytime and star maps at night [6].

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  • Report No.: ER63344-1018895-0007460
  • Grant Number: AI03-02ER63344
  • DOI: 10.2172/908649 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 908649
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc880044

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  • November 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2016, 3:34 p.m.

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Westwater, E. R.; Leuskiy, V. V.; Klein, M.; Gasiewski, A. J. & Shaw, and J. A. PROGRESS REPORT OF FY 2004 ACTIVITIES: IMPROVED WATER VAPOR AND CLOUD RETRIEVALS AT THE NSA/AAO, report, November 1, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc880044/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.