Project #2002-112 IDEAS Phase 2

Instrument Development and Education in Airborne Science

J. Stith, et al.

NSF/NCAR C-130Q Hercules (N130AR)


Investigator(s) Affiliation Instrument Study
Jeff Stith NCAR/RAF (Principal Investigator)

Improve the capability of instrumentation for future NSF airborne deployments. The C-130 platform and technical support will be provided for testing new instruments and measurement techniques. Participation is encouraged for NCAR, university, and other researchers. University students are also encouraged to participate.

John Hallett DRI
  • CloudScope (2)
  • Total Water-Ice Probe

Two DRI CloudScopes will be used for collecting video images of impacted particles >1 µm (probe 1) and > 5 µm (probe 2). Response of particles to humidity is done by cooling or heating of the impaction window and recording video microscope images on tape.

A new "PacMan" hot-wire type cloud water-ice probe has been developed and will be tested. Measurements will be compared with data from other probes on the aircraft.

Roelof Bruintjes NCAR/RAP
  • CCN counter
  • TEM filter pack

Combine measurements of Cloud Condensation Nuclei activation spectra, aerosol particle size and composition from Transmission Electron Microscope analysis of filter samples, and other probes on the aircraft (PCASP, FSSP) to study the chemical composition, size and concentration of aerosol particles and their effects on CCN activity and cloud droplet spectra.

Bernie Lafleur and
Chuck Wilson
  • Rosemount 858 probe
  • LTI
Flow irregularities were identified on the port side Low Turbulence Inlet during the ACE-Asia project. To investigate the air flow at this location, the Rosemount 858 airflow probe will be mounted at the location of the port side LTI for high frequency, high-resolution measurements of airspeed, angle of attack and angle of sideslip.
Dave Rogers and
Allen Schanot
  • NCAR SCAI (heated inlet)
  • Aft-facing inlet
  • 90-deg inlet
  • RDMA
  • CN
  • Climet
  • MCA
  • 2 nephelometers:
  •     1 ambient
        1 humid

Inlet sample efficiency for aerosol particles. The efficiency depends on inlet geometry, suction rate, and particle size. This study compares size distributions, number concentrations, and light scattering using several different instruments inside the airplane as the air sample sequences between three styles of inlet.

Explore occurrence of particles produced as drop splash artifacts. Explore using Climet and MCA (256 channels)

Compare ambient versus humid light scattering

Dave Rogers NCAR/RAF Cloud Particle Probes Ice formation in wave clouds. Focus on detection of small ice particles (<50µm), evolution of snow particle size and combining ice particle image data from different probes.
Mark Tschudi NCAR/RAF MCR The Multichannel Cloud Radiometer (MCR) is a downward-looking scanning radiometer with seven spectral channels (1 vis, 5 NIR and 1 thermal IR). For IDEAS2, all channels of the MCR are operational. Data in an image format will be displayed in the rear of the cabin as it is being acquired.
Mark Tschudi NCAR/RAF Digital Camera A Minolta DImage 7 color digital camera will be acquiring images through the downward-looking SABL port, located just ahead of the twin seats in the back of the C-130. Images will be snapped manually and will be used to acquire detail in areas of interest during remote sensing flight patterns flown for the AIMR and MCR.
Greg Kok and
Dave Rogers
DMT Total Water Content Probe DMT is developing a new compact hot-wire total water sensor for airborne research. Monitor performance and compare measurements with other cloud particle data.
Jeff Stith and
Dave Rogers
NCAR/RAF Nevzorov Hot-wire LWC-TWC Probe Nevzorov was recently acquired by NCAR/RAF to measure ice water content. Compare measurements with other cloud particle data.
Jørgen Jensen and
Dave Rogers
PMS 260X Probe Drop spash on probe tips may produce artifact particles that are sampled by the probe. Standard hemispheric cap tips are exchanged with wedge tips to reduce or redirect splashes.
Bill Dawson,
Darrel Baumgardner and
Dave Rogers

CDP A new, compact version Cloud Droplet Probe is being developed for airborne use. It measures cloud droplet number concentrations and size distributions (1 to 75 µm) based on forward light scattering from single particles. Performance will be compared with other cloud particle instruments on the aircraft.
Jim Dye,
Jeff Stith,
Dave Rogers,
Jorgen Jensen and
Stuart Beaton
Cloud Particle Imager

Continue training for operating the CPI probe, jointly owned by MMM and RAF. Compare cloud particle image data with optical array probes (2D-C, HVPS).

Develop software for display and analysis of data.

Jorgen Jensen CSIRO Giant Nuclei Collector An aerosol particle collector was developed at CSIRO and used in ACE-Asia. Measurements during IDEAS will be compared with other data from the aircraft.
Jeff Stith NCAR/RAF HVPS NCAR/RAF recently acquired a High Volume Precipitation Spectrometer ( Install and operate HVPS, monitor performance, compare measurements with other cloud particle probes, extend RAF software to display and analyze HVPS data.
Britt Stephens NCAR/RAF
  • ROXAN (O2 analyzer)

Teresa Campos and I are collecting flask samples for analysis at NOAA CMDL, using their aircraft sampling system ( The primary goal is to provide verification data for the in situ CO2 and CO measurements, but the air is also being analyzed for concentrations of CH4, N2O, SF6, and H2.

Further development of the RAF Oxygen Analyzer (ROXAN). The modifications I made to this VUV absorption instrument during IDEAS Phase 1 resulted in a factor of 3 improvement in its stationary instrument performance. It is now able to detect a 2 per meg change in O2 (equivalent to taking 2.5 million molecules of air and replacing one oxygen molecule with one CO2 molecule) in 10 seconds while on the ground, but significant motion sensitivity during flight remains a challenge. I explored different sources for this noise during IDEAS Phase 1 and will now test potential solutions during IDEAS Phase 2. This instrument includes a CO2 sensor for making dilution corrections to the O2 measurements, which I expect to give approximately 0.5 ppm precision and accuracy on a 1-second measurement.

Teresa Campos NCAR/ACD O3 Added to supplement aerosol measurements
Amanda Cox and
Julie Haggerty
Airborne Imaging Microwave Radiometer (AIMR) Preliminary test to see if the AIMR can be used to characterize vegetation and calculate vegetation index.
Eric Apel and
Alan Hills
NCAR/ACD FGCMS ACD developed and improved a new Fast Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer for measuring oxygenated hydrocarbons down to the ppt level. Flight testing will extend lab performance tests and ascertain its readiness for upcoming NCAR/ACD campaigns.
Chris Webster,
Janet Anstett and
Dave Rogers
NCAR/RAF airborne video display Imagery from the forward-looking video camera will be displayed on a large flat panel monitor in the cabin.
Janet Anstett,
Mike Spowart and
Chris Webster
NCAR/RAF SatComm real-time data link This is an exploratory study to downlink and uplink data between the aircraft and ground during flight. First tests will involve sending about 30 flight parameters, and automatically generating plots for display on RAF's web page in real-time.
Dave McFarland,
Allen Schanot and
Jeff Stith
NCAR/RAF King hot-wire probes The performance of probe elements with different surface roughness properties will be tested in ice or mixed-phase clouds.
Allen Schanot and
Dave McFarland
NCAR/RAF Lyman-alpha water vapor The performance of new source and detectors will be tested.

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Last update: Mon May 5 14:41:59 MDT 2003