Open Imaging Nephelometer Scattering Measurements from the 2014 Discover-AQ Field Mission

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Reed Espinosa1,2, Daniel Orozco1,2, Gergely Dolgos1,2 and Jose-Vanderlei Martins1,2, (1)University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, United States, (2)Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, UMBC, BALTIMORE, MD, United States
After greenhouse gases, aerosols are thought to have the largest contribution to total atmospheric radiative forcing, but they are frequently cited as the single largest source of uncertainty among all anthropogenic radiative forcing components. Remote sensing allows for global measurements of aerosol properties, however validation of these measurements and the climatological assumptions used in their retrieval algorithms require high quality in situ sampling. The Laboratory for Aerosols, Clouds and Optics (LACO) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) has developed the Imaging Nephelometer, a novel and highly accurate instrument concept designed to significantly aid in situ optical scattering measurements.

Imaging Nephelometers allow for measurements of scattering coefficient, phase function and polarized phase function over a wide angular range of 2 to 178 degrees with an angular resolution of less than half of a degree. The simple layout of these devices also permits the construction of an instrument that is compact enough to be deployed on a variety of airborne platforms. Additionally, a version of this instrument that is capable of in situ sampling in open-air, free from sample biases potentially introduced by an inlet or containment apparatus, has recently been constructed. This instrument, known as the Open Imaging NEPHelometer (OI-NEPH), was flown on the P3 aircraft in the summer of 2014 during the Colorado portion of the Discover-AQ field mission (Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality).

This presentation will focus on the results of the OI-NEPH’s successful science flights during this field experiment. The P3’s flights during this mission focused primarily on vehicle, agriculture, biomass burning and industrial processing emissions over the Colorado Front Range. Emphasis will be placed on any observed differences in scattering properties between the measurements made by the inlet-free OI-Neph and a second cabin based instrument, the Polarized Imaging Nephelometer (PI-Neph). Additionally, phase function measurements made during spirals over AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) stations will be compared with AERONET retrieved phase functions in an effort to assess the quality of these inversions