Studies of Mixed-Phase Cloud Microphysics Using An In-Situ Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Platform

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Williams, Robyn D.
Nenes, Athanasios
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Cirrus clouds cover between 20% - 50% of the globe and are an essential component in the climate. The improved understanding of ice cloud microphysical properties is contingent on acquiring and analyzing in-situ and remote sensing data from cirrus clouds. In ??u observations of microphysical properties of ice and mixed-phase clouds using the mini-Video Ice Particle Sizer (mini-VIPS) aboard robotic unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide a promising and powerful platform for obtaining valuable data in a cost-effective, safe, and long-term manner. The purpose of this study is to better understand cirrus microphysical properties by analyzing the effectiveness of the mini-VIPS/UAV in-situ platform. The specific goals include: (1) To validate the mini-VIPS performance by comparing the mini-VIPS data retrieved during an Artic UAV mission with data retrieved from the millimeterwavelength cloud radar (MMCR) at the Barrow ARM/CART site. (2) To analyze mini-VIPS data to survey the properties of high latitude mixedphase clouds The intercomparison between in-situ and remote sensing measurements was carried out by comparing reflectivity values calculated from in-situ measurements with observations from the MMCR facility. Good agreement between observations and measurements is obtained during the time frame where the sampled volume was saturated with respect to ice. We also have 1 2 shown that the degree of closure between calculated and observed reflectivity strongly correlates with the assumption of ice crystal geometry observed in the mini-VIPS images. The good correlation increases the confidence in mini-VIPS and MMCR measurements. Finally, the size distribution and ice crystal geometry obtained from the data analysis is consistent with published literature for similar conditions of temperature and ice supersaturation.
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