Vertical profiles of droplet size distributions derived from cloud-side observations by the research scanning polarimeter: Tests on simulated data
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Type of Work11 pages
Citation of Original PublicationAlexandrov, Mikhail D.; Miller, Daniel J.; Rajapakshe, Chamara; Fridlind, Ann; Diedenhoven, Bastiaan van; Cairns, Brian; Ackerman, Andrew S.; Zhang, Zhibo; Vertical profiles of droplet size distributions derived from cloud-side observations by the research scanning polarimeter: Tests on simulated data; Atmospheric Research, Volume 239, 2020; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016980951930852X#!
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This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
The Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) is an airborne along-track scanner measuring the polarized and total reflectances with high angular resolution. It allows for accurate characterization of liquid water cloud droplet sizes using the rainbow structure in the polarized reflectance. RSP's observations also provide constraints on the cumulus cloud's 2D cross section, yielding estimates of its geometric shape. In this study for the first time we evaluate the possibility to retrieve vertical profiles of microphysical characteristics along the cloud side by combining these micro- and macrophysical retrieval methods. First we constrain cloud's geometric shape, then for each point on the bright side of its surface we collect data from different scans to obtain the multi-angle polarized reflectance at that point. The rainbow structures of the reflectances from multiple points yield the corresponding droplet size distributions (DSDs), which are then combined into vertical profiles. We present the results of testing the proposed profiling algorithm on simulated data obtained using large eddy simulations and 3D radiative transfer computations. The virtual RSP measurements were used for retrieval of DSD profiles, which then were compared to the actual data from the LES-model output. A cumulus congestus cloud was selected for these tests in preparation for analysis of real measurements made during the Cloud, Aerosol and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP²Ex). We demonstrate that the use of the non-parametric Rainbow Fourier Transform (RFT) allows for adequate retrieval of the complex altitude-dependent bimodal structure of cloud DSDs.
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