A Light-Weight Holographic Imager for Cloud Microphysical Studies from an Untethered Balloon
Abstract. We describe the construction and testing of an in situ cloud particle imager based on digital holography. The instrument was designed to be low cost and light weight for vertical profiling of clouds with an untethered weather balloon. This capability is intended to address the lack of in situ cloud microphysical observations that are required for improving the understanding of cloud processes, calibration of climate and weather models, and validation of remote sensing observation methods.
From a balloon sounding through multiple bands of cloud, we show that we can retrieve shape information and size distributions of the cloud particles as a function of altitude. Microphysical retrievals from an imaging satellite are compared to these in situ observations and significant differences are identified, consistent with those identified in prior evaluation campaigns.
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Data from the Untethered Balloon Launch of a Holographic Imager Into Cloud Near Adelaide, South Australia in August 2020 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10297799
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