A NASA P‐3 aircraft will be equipped with a Cloud Droplet Probe CDP sizing particles between 2 and 50μm, a Cloud and Aerosol Spectrometer CAS sizing between 0.51 and 50μm, a 2D‐stereo probe 2DS, nominally sizing between 10 and 1280μm, a Cloud Imaging Probe CIP, from 25 to 1600μm, and a High Volume Precipitation Sampler HVPS‐3, from 150μm to 1.92cm for measuring number distribution functions (n(D)) along with a King probe and hot wire probe for measuring the total liquid water content, LWC. A Passive Cavity Aerosol Spectrometer Probe PCASP will measure aerosol particles between 0.1 to 3μm.
By examining consistency between n(D) measured by probes in the overlap ranges and by conducting closure tests whereby the bulk LWC is compared against that derived from n(D), a probe-independent product will be generated to provide the best estimate of the following cloud parameters: total concentration, extinction, n(D), effective radius and LWC.
The resulting database will be used to determine how cloud properties vary with distance away from the coast of Africa and with aerosol concentrations measured in the accumulation mode by the PCASP above and below cloud. The impact of the changing separation between the cloud and aerosol layers will be examined and potential impacts of the variation of cloud microphysical properties with aerosol concentrations on radiative forcing will be discussed.