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Conference Papers Year : 2021

The Joint ESA-NASA Tropical Campaign Activity - Aeolus Calibration/Validation and Science in the Topics


The Tropics are covering around 40% of the globe and are home to approximately 40% of the world population. However, numerical weather prediction (NWP) for this region still remains challenging due to the lack of basic observations and incomplete understanding of atmospheric processes, also affecting extratropical storm developments. As a result, the largest impact of the ESA’s Aeolus satellite observations on NWP is expected in the Tropics where only a very limited number of wind profile observations from the ground can be performed. An especially important case relating to the predictability of tropical weather system is the outflow of Saharan dust, its interaction with cloud micro-physics and the overall impact on the development of tropical storms over the Atlantic Ocean. The region of the coast of West Africa uniquely allows the study of the Saharan Aerosol layer, African Easterly Waves and Jets, Tropical Easterly Jet, as well as the deep convection in ITCZ and their relation to the formation of convective systems and the transport of dust. Together with international partners, ESA and NASA are currently implementing a joint Tropical campaign from July to August 2021 with its base in Cape Verde. The campaign objective is to provide information on the validation and preparation of the ESA missions Aeolus and EarthCARE, respectively, as well as supporting a range of related science objectives for the investigation in the interactions between African Easterly and other tropical waves with the mean flow, dust and their impact on the development of convective systems; the structure and variability of the marine boundary layer in relation to initiation and lifecycle of the convective cloud systems within and across the ITCZ; and impact of wind, aerosol, clouds, and precipitation effects on long range dust transport and air quality over the western Atlantic. The campaign comprises a unique combination of both strong airborne and ground-based elements collocated on Cape Verde. The airborne component with wind and aerosol lidars, cloud radars, in-situ instrumentation and additional observations includes the NASA DC-8 with science activities coordinated by the U. of Washington, the German DLR Falcon-20, the French Safire Falcon-20 with activities led by LATMOS, and the Slovenian Aerovizija Advantic WT-10 light aircraft in cooperation with the U. Novo Gorica. The ground-based component led by the National Observatory of Athens is a collaboration of more than 25 European teams providing in-situ and remote sensing aerosol and cloud measurements with a wide range of lidar, radar and radiometer systems, as well as drone observatins by the Cyprus Institute. In preparation for the field campaign, the NASA and ESA management and science teams are closely collaborating with regular coordination meetings, in particular in coordinating the shift of the activity by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The time gained has been used to further consolidate the planning, and in particular with a dry-run campaign organized by NASA with European participation where six virtual flights were conducted in July 2020.
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insu-03195259 , version 1 (10-04-2021)



Thorsten Fehr, Gail Skofronick-Jackson, Vassilis Amiridis, Jonas von Bismarck, Shuyi Chen, et al.. The Joint ESA-NASA Tropical Campaign Activity - Aeolus Calibration/Validation and Science in the Topics. EGU General Assembly 2021, Apr 2021, Online Meeting, Germany. pp.EGU21-15144, ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15144⟩. ⟨insu-03195259⟩
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