In Situ Measurements of Aerosol Microphysical Properties

Five instruments, two nucleation-mode aerosol size spectrometers (NMASS; Williamson et al., 2018), two ultra-high sensitivity aerosol spectrometers (UHSAS; Kupc et al., 2018), and a laser aerosol spectrometer (LAS) comprise the AMP package. The AMP package provides particle size distributions with up to one-second time resolution for dry aerosol particles between 0.003 and 4.8 µm in diameter. Details of methods, uncertainties, and data products from the AMP package are in Brock et al. (2019). During ATom, the instruments were used to investigate how particles in the remote atmosphere influence climate by examining the origin of small particles in the remote atmosphere and their growth to sizes where they can affect clouds and the sources, characteristics, and distribution of soil dust and sea-spray particles, and 3) the importance long-range transport from human and natural sources on background aerosol properties.

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X-Band Lightweight Rainfall Radiometer

The X-band LRR, which is suitable for aircraft or space-based platforms, enables markedly improved measurement of precipitation drop size and distribution (at 10.7 GHz), as well as rain rate and surface wind speeds, when used in conjunction with other instruments, such as the PR-2. With a receiver less than 1/8th the size and using 50% less power than predecessors, the LRR could lead to a space-borne 25 channel synthetic aperture radiometer that would not be strictly limited by size and power requirements.

The core technology of the LRR – a synthetically thinned aperture radiometer (STAR) – demonstrated the feasibility of a one-dimensional geometric interferometer (no moving parts) for future NASA X-band missions. The lack of a mechanical scanning apparatus found on traditional radiometers makes the LRR payload smaller, lighter, and cheaper to launch while also reducing the complexity and risk of the instrument. The team also conducted an antenna design study that validated the STAR technology in the critical Ku- and Ka-bands.

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