Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science

Ongoing activities

Most of the soundings so far have been carried out within the project Particle Backscatter and Relative Humidity in and around Cirrus Clouds Measured with a Lightweight Balloon Sonde founded by the Swiss National Foundation (SNF).

As part of his PhD work Martin Brabec visits NIWA in Lauder, New Zealand from September 2008 to February 2009 to add COBALD to the regular flights carried out with the NOAA Boulder Frost Point Hygrometer sounding payload.

We aim to study the evolution of cirrus clouds in time to better understand the underlying microphysical processes. In the combined modeling and experimental project LAMMOC matched balloon soundings are performed from the area around Zurich in cooperation with the MeteoSwiss facility in Payerne in order to probe the same air mass twice with a temporal distance of typically 90 to 120 minutes. For the appropriate flight planning a software tool calculating balloon and air parcel trajectories on ECMWF and COSMO forecast fields has been developed and validated (poster presentation).

As contribution to the Arctic MATCH campaign of the EU-FP7 project RECONCILE 15 SnowWhite/COBALD units are launched from NyAlesund, Spitsbergen, in January - February 2010. This will be done in close consultation with the simultaneous RECONCILE Arctic Aircraft campaign hosted in Kiruna, Sweden, and balloon activities from Sodankylä, Finland, employing COBALD and Wyoming backscatter and CFH water vapor sensors.

The ongoing successful cooperation with colleagues from the Payerne MeteoSwiss facility is supported by the project Assessment of high altitude aerosol and cloud characteristics by in-situ and remote sensing techniques in which funding by the MeteoSwiss GAW-CH Plus program allows for supplementing the monthly Payerne SnowWhite flights with COBALD sensors until 2013. Data analysis in this project is complemented by long-term monitoring of cirrus clouds using a Leosphere ALS450 lidar system recently installed on the roof of the institute building.

Atmospheric Chemistry (Prof. Thomas Peter)


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