A User Interface for Identifying Volcanic layers in CALIPSO and CATS Lidar Observations

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Charles R Trepte1, Jean-Paul Vernier2, Thomas Duncan Fairlie1, John J Murray1 and Matthew J McGill3, (1)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, VA, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The CALIPSO satellite provides profile measurements of aerosols and clouds over the globe and has operated near-continuously since its launch in 2006. The CALIPSO lidar (known as CALIOP) is adept at identifying isolated aerosol layers and provides information on their composition that is available for quasi-real time forecasting applications (routine browse images are available at This information can be used effectively to identify volcanic (and dust) plumes and forecast of aerosol dispersion when coupled with a trajectory model. On several occasions such as during the eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 and Kelud in 2014, the CALIPSO data aided forecasters from aviation Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers with information on the location and height of volcanic plumes that helped with their hazard assessments.

This paper presents a prototype GUI that aids data users with identifying volcanic layers from CALIPSO browse imagery. A notable aspect of the tool is the ability to select individual features as a collection of individual profile observations and save them into a database or initiate a forward/backward trajectory model using coordinates obtained from the composite object. Examples will be presented that demonstrate the applicability of the GUI using the HySplit and NASA trajectory models. This tool will also be able to support lidar measurements expected from the new Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) lidar that will be deployed on the International Space Station in the near future.