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Field Campaigns and related validation activities

Current field campaigns

Rain In Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO):
Antigua and Barbuda, November 1, 2004 - February 1, 2005
The scientific objectives of the RICO campaign included measurements of precipitation in trade wind cumulus, microphysics of the transition to a mature rainshaft, organization of trade wind cumulus, and the wind cloud environment. MISR's mission objectives involved providing information on cloud cover, cloud-tracked winds, stereo-derived cloud-top altitude, and cloud geometric thickness.
MISR supported the campaign through daily acquisitions including Local Mode acquisitions, and special subsets for the campaign region, found here under 'Regional Products'.

Unified Aerosol Experiment (UAE2):
United Arab Emirates, August 9 - September 30, 2004
NASA, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Department of Water Resources Studies, and 20 other US and foreign research laboratories embarked on a measurement campaign, Unified Aerosol Experiment United Arab Emirates, (UAE2), to gain insight on the properties and concentrations of aerosols in the gulf region and understand how these aerosols might affect climate change. Objectives of the campaign included:

  1. Evaluate and improve satellite aerosol optical depth and ocean products commonly used by the scientific community;
  2. Determine the fundamental microphysical, optical and transport properties of aerosol particles in this mostly un-sampled region, and;
  3. Increase understanding of aerosol particle interaction with the regional radiation budget in bright-surfaced locations.

MISR supported the campaign through daily acquisitions including Local Mode acquisitions, subsets for the campaign region, and the production of new regional aerosol retrievals and dust optical models, found here under 'Regional Products'.

International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation (ICARTT 2004):
North Atlantic, Summer 2004
The International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation (ICARTT) utilized the synergy between several coordinated experiments to study the emissions of aerosols and ozone precursors, their chemical transformations and removal during transport to and over the North Atlantic. The capabilities represented by the consortium allowed for unprecedented characterization of key atmospheric processes. The combined research conducted in the programs that made up ICARTT focused on three main areas: regional air quality, intercontinental transport, and radiation balance in the atmosphere.
MISR supported the campaign through daily acquisitions including Local Mode acquisitions, and special subsets for the campaign region, found here under 'Regional Products'.

2003 Field campaigns
2003 Eastern US AirMISR Deployments
Coincident MISR and AirMISR data sets were acquired over the Howland Forest Study Site on August 28, (as part of a suite of airborne and ground-based measurements), over the Harvard Forest Study Site on August 24, over the Bartlett Experimental Forest on August 24, over the Chesapeake Bay/Smithsonian site on August 20, and over the Morgan Monroe State Forest on August 19.

Field campaigns 2002 - 1999
AirMISR Deployments 2000 - 2002
There were approximately 5 AirMISR deployments per year between 2000 and 2002. The flights were spread throughout the year, and included a mix of experimental objectives. The experiment locations were chosen to support studies on vicarious calibration (uniform desert targets), aerosol studies over dark water, and non-homogeneous urban areas, vegetation sites, and clouds. Schedule changes took place as weather conditions and coordination dictated.

Chesapeake Lighthouse & Aircraft Measurements for Satellites (CLAMS), July 10 - August 2, 2001
The collection of simultaneous satellite, aircraft and surface instrument observations during this campaign provided one opportunity to meet one of MISR's key validation goals. MISR participated in the CLAMS field campaign for the purpose of testing multi-angle aerosol retrieval approaches over dark water.

Harvard Forest Field Validation Campaign, 1- 8 August, 2001
Collection of simultaneous satellite, aircraft, and surface instrument observations provided an opportunity to meet one of MISR's key validation goals.

Safari 2000: South Africa, August/September 2000
The Safari 2000 field campaign objectives were to understand between the surface and the atmosphere over southern Africa, to characterize natural and manmade emissions and to trace the flow of polluting emissions. MISR provided support for these objectives with a field base station and simultaneous MISR-AirMISR measurements. These instruments complemented each other through their varying spatial resolution, length-of-stay at a given location, and time between observations. The field operations measured two areas in great detail on a continuous basis for several weeks. The two distinct environments measured were a large salt playa in the desert at Sua Pan, Botswana, and the Skukuza savannah area near Kruger National Park, South Africa. The desert environment allowed aerosol particules to be measured over a relatively homogeneous surface (useful when attempting to decouple the surface and atmospheric signals), and a savannah environment helped to verify MISR observations over a complex surface.

Cloud and radiation study over ARM site: Oklahoma, Feb/ Mar 2000
The Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program observed the vertical profile of clouds as they advected over a ground site. ARM radars and lidars were used in validating MISR cloud retrievals. Such radars and lidars provided a time-height picture of cloud events, whereas MISR produced an essentially instantaneous (horizontal) view of clouds over a larger area around the study site.

In order to learn how to extrapolate the ARM time-height data to larger regions, the ARM program deployed a fleet of vertically pointing and scanning lidars and millimeter radars within a mesoscale region around the ARM Central Facility (CF) during February and March 2000. The measured data permitted analysis of the correlation of cloud properties on various spatial scales.
Instrumentation included:

  1. Scanning millimeter radar at the CF.
  2. Scanning lidar at the CF.
  3. 3 to 6 vertically-pointing millimeter radars for deployment around the CF.
  4. AERIs, other NFOV IR radiometers, microwave radiometers, surface met and shadowband radiometers at the additional radar sites.
  5. In-situ aircraft (UND Citation, UAV?).
  6. ER-2 with MAS (or MASTER), S-HIS, CLS (lidar) and AirMISR.

MISR objectives for this experiment were to:

  1. Evaluate MISR observed radiances, albedo and cloud top height retrievals using AirMISR and ARM data. The evaluation took direct comparison of observed radiances between MISR and AirMISR and simulations based on combined ground-based and in situ measured cloud properties (similar methods are used in FIRE-ACE).
  2. Relate variability in MISR and AirMISR observed cloud fields with properties observed by several radars.

Fire & Smoke, Lake Tahoe, California, October 1999
An experiment involving AirMISR and ground observations was conducted for Lake Tahoe. Coincident flight and surface data acquisitions were made on two days: October 19 and 21. The objective was to obtain multiangle observations of biomass smoke over deep waters of the lake, this in support of MISR algorithm validation for recovery of aerosols over deep clear water. Although skies were crystal clear, an otherwise excellent data set was acquired by AirMISR on Tuesday, October 19th. The second flight imaged the target through scattered clouds.

KONVEX experiment: Konza Prairie, Kansas, July 1999
The MISR validation team participated in KONVEX (KONza Validation EXperiment) during the week of 11-18 July, 1999. The MISR team made continual sunphotometer observations during the week from its Reagan, Cimel, and MFRSR instruments. Radiance samples covering both the upwelling and downwelling hemispheres were acquired using the PARABOLA III.

Dark ocean: Marina, California, June 1999
On June 29 and 30, 1999, the ER-2 flew various flight lines, and acquired AirMISR and MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS) images. These data will be used by the MISR science team to validate aerosol retrieval techniques by comparing results from the AirMISR data with those derived from the surface-based observations.
The stated purpose of this experiment (for MISR) was to examine variations in marine stratus cloud structure and their effect on the scattered radiances and MISR retrievals of cloud albedo.

The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at the NASA Langley Research Center now distributes many AirMISR and MISR Local Mode data sets.