Unmanned flights over Crete

With all the instruments in place, the CHAREDMexp campaign in Greece is fully operational. As well the instruments that was put together at Finokalia station, a second instrument site was also set up at Sitia municipal airport to support measurements from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying from the airport.

The PollyXT lidar system being maintained by NOA’s researcher Eleni Marinou. (NOA)

The PollyXT lidar system being maintained by NOA’s researcher Eleni Marinou. (NOA)

On 22 June, an advanced spectral radiometer (Precision Spectral Radiometer) that records direct solar irradiance in the 310–1030 nm range with a sampling step of 0.7 nm was installed at Finokalia. This instrument provides very frequent spectrums that will be used to enhance recordings of optical properties.

The PSR radiometer of the PMOD-WRC. (NOA)

The PSR radiometer of the PMOD-WRC. (NOA)

For several nights, collocated and synchronous measurements were taken by the TROPOS PollyXT lidar ‘Arielle’ and EMORAL lidar to evaluate the products of both systems. More information can be found at: http://charadmexp.gr/news/3/

Then, we had to pick a suitable location to operate the UAV flights that not could not only fullfil the scientific aims of the campaign, but also be safe. The selected location is Sitia municipal airport, about 30 km east of Finokalia.

PollyXT and EMORAL lidar intercomparison. (NOA)

PollyXT and EMORAL lidar intercomparison. (NOA)

The EMORAL lidar, the Microtops and the in-situ instrumentation was therefore moved to Sitia airport and are now providing data for flight planning and for validating the in-flight measurements.

The CCN instrument kindly provided by the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The CCN instrument kindly provided by the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The first flight took place on 28 June. Weather permitting, our aim is to fly every day. Instrumentation on board includes an Optical Particle Counter, a Condensation Particle Counter, an aethalometer and an ozone ice nuclei sampling. Vertical profiles recorded by these instruments will be paired with EMORAL lidar measurements. During horizontal legs of the flights, the spatial aerosol variability will be investigated.

The UAV from Cyprus Institute.

The UAV from Cyprus Institute.

For more updates check the campaignwebsite: http://charadmexp.gr

 

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