2.3 Demonstration of a Ceilometer Lidar Network in PECAN and Potential Applications to ASOS

Monday, 23 January 2017: 2:00 PM
Conference Center: Skagit 4 (Washington State Convention Center )
Kevin C. Vermeesch, JCET, Greenbelt, MD; and B. B. Demoz, D. Atkinson, M. Hicks, D. N. Whiteman, D. Venable, and M. Walker

Currently in the national Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) network ceilometers are used exclusively to obtain cloud base heights. While they meet this observational requirement, they are capable of detecting the height and vertical extent of aerosol layers as well as the presence of mesoscale and boundary layer features, such as fronts and waves, but this capability is not currently utilized. Work as been completed to identify the potential uses and benefits of using the ceilometers’ aerosol backscatter profiles for purposes beyond detecting cloud base heights.
     During the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) field campaign, ceilometers were deployed in the PECAN domain in a network configuration to demonstrate collection and transmission of their backscatter profiles and identification of mesoscale features. The PECAN ceilometers’ setup will be shown as well as cases of capturing mesoscale and boundary layer phenomena. Work needed to implement similar data collection within the ASOS network is discussed. In addition to this work, a quantitative comparison of backscatter profiles from different ceilometer manufactures has been performed to assess their performance since all the current ASOS ceilometers are of the same manufacturer.
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