Co-ordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics (CAST)

N. R. P. Harris, L. J. Carpenter, J. D. Lee, G. Vaughan, M. T. Filus, R. L. Jones, B. OuYang, J. A. Pyle, A. D. Robinson, S. J. Andrews, A. C. Lewis, J. Minaeian, A. Vaughan, J. R. Dorsey, M. W. Gallagher, M. Le Breton, R. Newton, C. J. Percival, H. M. A. Ricketts, S. J-B. BaugitteG. J. Nott, A. Wellpott, M. J. Ashfold, J. Flemming, R. Butler, P. I. Palmer, P. H. Kaye, C. Stopford, C. Chemel, H. Boesch, N. Humpage, A. Vick, A. R. MacKenzie, R. Hyde, P. Angelov, E. Meneguz, A. J. Manning

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The main field activities of the CAST (Co-ordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics) campaign took place in the West Pacific in January/February 2014. The field campaign was based in Guam (13.5°N, 144.8°E) using the UK FAAM BAe-146 atmospheric research aircraft and was coordinated with the ATTREX project with the unmanned Global Hawk and the CONTRAST campaign with the Gulfstream V aircraft. Together, the three aircraft were able to make detailed measurements of atmospheric structure and composition from the ocean surface to 20 km. These measurements are providing new information about the processes influencing halogen and ozone levels in the tropical West Pacific as well as the importance of trace gas transport in convection for the upper troposphere and stratosphere. The FAAM aircraft made a total of 25 flights between 1°S-14°N and 130°-155°E. It was used to sample at altitudes below 8 km with much of the time spent in the marine boundary layer. It measured a range of chemical species, and sampled extensively within the region of main inflow into the strong West Pacific convection. The CAST team also made ground-based measurements of a number of species (including daily ozonesondes) at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program site on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (2.1°S, 147.4°E). This article presents an overview of the CAST project focussing on the design and operation of the West Pacific experiment. It additionally discusses some new developments in CAST, including flights of new instruments on the Global Hawk in February/March 2015.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-162
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Early online date29 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2017


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