Dust size distribution profiling with bespoke balloon-borne and UAV based particle counters

  • Smith, Helen (CoI)
  • Kezoudi, Maria (PI)
  • Girdwood, Joseph (CoI)

Project: Other

Project Details


DePLUme aims to use the ACTRIS GRA Research Infrastructure in order to test the Universal Cloud and Aerosol Sonde System (UCASS) - based on balloon and UAV platforms - against the advanced retrievals from TiARA, LIRIC and GARRLiC codes, developed in the framework of ACTRIS-1.

UCASS is an open-path optical particle counter (OPC) that has been developed at the University of Hertfordshire and can be used on a balloon, as a dropsonde or deployed on a UAV. UCASS allows for affordable in-situ profiling of the size distribution of aerosols and cloud droplets in 16 size bins, capable of sizing particles in the range 0.3-40 μm.

The University of Hertfordshire Aerosol SAMpling UAV (UH-AeroSAM) is a bespoke UAV designed to take in-situ measurements of aerosol properties using a modified UCASS, along with other variables which are common inputs for cloud and aerosol parameterizations (e.g. temperature and humidity). Since UAV based measurements in atmospheric science are still in their infancy, this platform requires a rigorous validation procedure with reference instruments which the ACTRIS GRA Research Infrastructure provides (along with balloon based soundings).

The specific scientific objectives of DePLUme are:
1. To assess the quality of UCASS measurements deployed on 2 different systems (balloon-borne and on a UAV)
2. To contribute towards the validation of UH-AeroSAM for temperature, humidity, and aerosol properties
3. To study the dust microphysics using the synergy of remote sensing and in-situ methods
Short titleDust Profiling with baLloons and UAVs
Effective start/end date14/02/191/03/19


  • QE Geology
  • QC Physics


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