[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Field measurements of spray drift are usually carried out by passive collectors and tracers. However, these methods are labour- and time-intensive and only provide point- and time-integrated measurements. Unlike these methods, the light detection and ranging (lidar) technique allows real-time measurements, obtaining information with temporal and spatial resolution. Recently, the authors have developed the first eye-safe lidar system specifically designed for spray drift monitoring. This prototype is based on a 1534 nm erbium-doped glass laser and an 80 mm diameter telescope, has scanning capability, and is easily transportable. This paper presents the results of the first experimental campaign carried out with this instrument. High coefficients of determination (R2 > 0.85) were observed by comparing lidar measurements of the spray drift with those obtained by horizontal collectors. Furthermore, the lidar system allowed an assessment of the drift reduction potential (DRP) when comparing low-drift nozzles with standard ones, resulting in a DRP of 57% (preliminary result) for the tested nozzles. The lidar system was also used for monitoring the evolution of the spray flux over the canopy and to generate 2-D images of these plumes. The developed instrument is an advantageous alternative to passive collectors and opens the possibility of new methods for field measurement of spray drift.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Air quality forecast systems need reliable and accurate representations of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) to perform well. An important question is how accurately numerical weather prediction models can reproduce conditions in diverse synoptic flow types. Here, observations from the summer 2014 HygrA-CD (Hygroscopic Aerosols to Cloud Droplets) experimental campaign are used to validate simulations from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over the complex, urban terrain of the Greater Athens Area. Three typical atmospheric flow types were identified during the 39-day campaign based upon two-day backward trajectories: Continental, Etesians, and Saharan. It is shown the numerical model simulations differ dramatically depending on the PBL scheme, atmospheric dynamics, and meteorological parameter (e.g., 2-m air temperature). Eight PBL schemes from WRF version 3.4 are tested with daily simulations on an inner domain at 1-km grid spacing. Near-surface observations of 2-m air temperature and relative humidity, and 10-m wind speed are collected from multiple meteorological stations. Estimates of the PBL height come from measurements using a multiwavelength Raman lidar, with an adaptive extended Kalman filter technique. Vertical profiles of atmospheric variables are obtained from radiosonde launches, along with PBL heights calculated using bulk Richardson number. Daytime maximum PBL heights ranged from 2.57km during Etesian flows, to as low as 0.37km during Saharan flows. The largest differences between model and observations are found with simulated PBL height during Saharan synoptic flows. During the daytime, campaign-averaged near-surface variables show WRF tended to have a cool, moist bias with higher simulated wind speeds than the observations, especially near the coast. It is determined that non-local PBL schemes give the most agreeable solutions when compared with observations.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Atmospheric Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We evaluate planetary boundary-layer (PBL) parametrizations in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical model, with three connected objectives: first, for a 16-year period, we use a cluster analysis algorithm of three-day back-trajectories to determine general synoptic flow patterns over Barcelona, Spain arriving at heights of 0.5, 1.5, and 3 km; to represent the lower PBL, upper PBL, and lower free troposphere, respectively. Seven clusters are determined at each arriving altitude. Regional recirculations account for 54 % of the annual total at 0.5 km, especially in summertime. In the second objective, we assess a time-adaptive approach using an extended Kalman filter to estimate PBL height from backscatter lidar returns at 1200 UTC ± 30 min for 45 individual days during a seven-year period. PBL heights retrieved with this technique are compared with three classic methods used in the literature to estimate PBL height from lidar. The methods are validated against PBL heights calculated from daytime radiosoundings. Lidar and radiosonde estimated PBL heights are classified under objectively-determined synoptic clusters. With the final objective, WRF model-simulated PBL heights are validated against lidar estimates using eight unique PBL schemes as inputs. Evaluation of WRF model-simulated PBL heights are performed under different synoptic situations. Determination coefficients with lidar estimates indicate the non-local assymetric convective model scheme is the most reliable, with the widely-tested local Mellor–Yamada–Janjic scheme showing the weakest correlations with lidar retrievals. Overall, there is a systematic underestimation of PBL height simulated in the WRF model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This paper departs from a preliminary near-shore measurement test campaign hold at El Pont del Petroli (PdP), Barcelona (Spain) where measurements from a Doppler wind-lidar buoy (the ”floating” lidar) are cross-examined against an on-shore reference lidar. From this framework the methodological analysis to intercompare two such lidars in terms of the retrieved Horizontal Wind Speed (HWS) - as key variable - is presented along with an overview of the signal-processing block diagram. Central to this work is to introduce the main error indicators (e.g., bias, RMSE, determination coefficient, absolute error and scatter plots) used to assess the performance of the floating lidar in the campaign. Finally, it is shown that even a basic smoothing procedure on the retrieved 1-s HWS time series is enough to enhance the determination coefficient against the reference lidar Turbulence Intensity (TI).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: An adaptive solution based on an extended Kalman filter (EKF) is proposed to estimate the atmospheric boundarylayer height (ABLH) from frequency-modulated continuous-wave S-band weather-radar returns. The EKF estimator departs from previous works, in which the transition interface between the mixing layer (ML) and the free troposphere (FT) is modeled by means of an erf-like parametric function. In contrast to lidar remote sensing, where aerosols give strong backscatter returns over the whole ML, clear-air radar reflectivity returns (Bragg scattering from refractive turbulence) shows strongest returns from the ML-FT interface. In addition, they are corrupted by “insect” noise (impulsive noise associated with Rayleigh scattering from insects and birds), all of which requires a specific treatment of the problem and the measurement noise for the clear-air radar case. The proposed radar-ABLH estimation method uses: 1) a first preprocessing of the reflectivity returns based on median filtering and threshold-limited decision to obtain “clean” reflectivity signal; 2) a modified EKF with adaptive range intervals as time tracking estimator; and 3) ad hoc modeling of the observation noise covariance. The method has successfully been implemented in clear-air, single-layer, and convective boundary-layer conditions. ABLH estimates from the proposed radar-EKF method have been cross examined with those from a collocated lidar ceilometer yielding a correlation coefficient as high as ρ = 0.93 (mean signal-to-noise ratio, SNR = 18 (linear units), at the ABLH) and in relation to the classic THM.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The HygrA-CD (From Hygroscopic Aerosols to Cloud Droplets) experimental campaign took place from mid-May to mid-June 2014 over the complex, urban terrain of the Greater Athens Area (GAA). Three typical atmospheric flow types were observed during the 39-day campaign: urban/continental, Etesians, and Saharan dust, which represented 41.7 %, 36.1 %, and 22.2 % of the days respectively. In this study we evaluated the sensitivity of boundary layer variables to various planetary boundary-layer (PBL) parameterization schemes available in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale meteorological model. Eight PBL schemes (5 local, 3 non-local) from WRF version 3.4.1 are tested using daily simulations on a 1 km x 1km grid over the GAA with hourly resolution. Near-surface observations (2-m air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed) are collected from surface meteorological instruments at multiple locations, while estimates of the PBL height are retrieved using optical backscatter measurements from a multiwavelength Raman lidar (extended Kalman filter technique) and vertical profiles of atmospheric variables from radiosondes (bulk Richardson number approach). Daytime maximum PBL heights ranged from 2.57 km during Etesian flows, or as low as 0.37 km attributed with Saharan dust episodes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A wind-retrieval correlation method for backscatter-lidar scanning schemes consisting of a few profiling sounding lines of sight (LOS) is mathematically formulated in matrix-solution form under general anisotropic atmospheric conditions and convective boundary layer scenarios. The method assumes the frozen atmosphere model and works with temporal cross-correlations functions that do not need to be maximized. The method also applies to the well-known case of slant scans based on the multiple-angle azimuth technique (horizontal wind retrievals). A first application of the method to a 1064-nm wavelength case example is presented for a 40-deg elevation, two-angle azimuth scan where horizontal wind speed and wind direction are retrieved.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Spray drift is one of the main sources of pesticide contamination. For this reason, an accurate understanding of this phenomenon is necessary in order to limit its effects. Nowadays, spray drift is usually studied by using in situ collectors which only allow time-integrated sampling of specific points of the pesticide clouds. Previous research has demonstrated that the light detection and ranging (lidar) technique can be an alternative for spray drift monitoring. This technique enables remote measurement of pesticide clouds with high temporal and distance resolution. Despite these advantages, the fact that no lidar instrument suitable for such an application is presently available has appreciably limited its practical use. This work presents the first eye-safe lidar system specifically designed for the monitoring of pesticide clouds. Parameter design of this system is carried out via signal-to-noise ratio simulations. The instrument is based on a 3-mJ pulse-energy erbium-doped glass laser, an 80-mm diameter telescope, an APD optoelectronic receiver and optomechanically adjustable components. In first test measurements, the lidar system has been able to measure a topographic target located over 2 km away. The instrument has also been used in spray drift studies, demonstrating its capability to monitor the temporal and distance evolution of several pesticide clouds emitted by air-assisted sprayers at distances between 50 and 100 m.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This paper presents a new application of assimilating lidar signals to aerosol forecasting. It aims at investigating the impact of a ground-based lidar network on the analysis and short-term forecasts of aerosols through a case study in the Mediterranean basin. To do so, we employ a data assimilation (DA) algorithm based on the optimal interpolation method developed in the Polair3D chemistry transport model (CTM) of the Polyphemus air quality modelling platform. We assimilate hourly averaged normalised range-corrected lidar signals (PR2) retrieved from a 72 h period of intensive and continuous measurements performed in July 2012 by ground-based lidar systems of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) integrated into the Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure (ACTRIS) network and an additional system in Corsica deployed in the framework of the pre-ChArMEx (Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment)/TRAQA (TRAnsport à longue distance et Qualité de l'Air) campaign. This lidar campaign was dedicated to demonstrating the potential operationality of a research network like EARLINET and the potential usefulness of assimilation of lidar signals to aerosol forecasts. Particles with an aerodynamic diameter lower than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and those with an aerodynamic diameter higher than 2.5 μm but lower than 10 μm (PM10–2.5) are analysed separately using the lidar observations at each DA step. First, we study the spatial and temporal influences of the assimilation of lidar signals on aerosol forecasting. We conduct sensitivity studies on algorithmic parameters, e.g. the horizontal correlation length (Lh) used in the background error covariance matrix (50 km, 100 km or 200 km), the altitudes at which DA is performed (0.75–3.5 km, 1.0–3.5 km or 1.5–3.5 km a.g.l.) and the assimilation period length (12 h or 24 h). We find that DA with Lh = 100 km and assimilation from 1.0 to 3.5 km a.g.l. during a 12 h assimilation period length leads to the best scores for PM10 and PM2.5 during the forecast period with reference to available measurements from surface networks. Secondly, the aerosol simulation results without and with lidar DA using the optimal parameters (Lh = 100 km, an assimilation altitude range from 1.0 to 3.5 km a.g.l. and a 12 h DA period) are evaluated using the level 2.0 (cloud-screened and quality-assured) aerosol optical depth (AOD) data from AERONET, and mass concentration measurements (PM10 or PM2.5) from the French air quality (BDQA) network and the EMEP-Spain/Portugal network. The results show that the simulation with DA leads to better scores than the one without DA for PM2.5, PM10and AOD. Additionally, the comparison of model results to evaluation data indicates that the temporal impact of assimilating lidar signals is longer than 36 h after the assimilation period.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This contribution evaluates an approach using an extended Kalman filter (EKF) to estimate the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) from lidar measurements obtained in the framework of the European Aerosol Research LIdar NETwork (EARLINET) at 12 UTC ± 30-min for a 7-year period (2007-2013) under different synoptic flows over the complex geographical area of Barcelona, Spain. PBLH diagnosed with the EKF technique are compared with classic lidar methods and radiosounding estimates. Seven unique synoptic flows are identified using cluster analysis of 5756 HYSPLIT (HYbrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) three-day backtrajectories for a 16-year period (1998-2013) arriving at 0.5 km, 1.5 km, and 3 km, to represent the lower PBL, upper PBL, and low free troposphere, respectively. Regional recirculations are dominant with 54% of the annual total at 0.5 km and 57% of the total lidar days at 1.5 km, with a clear preference for summertime (0.5 km: 36% and 1.5 km: 29%). PBLH retrievals using the EKF method range from 0.79 - 1.6 km asl. The highest PBLHs are observed in southwest flows (15.2% of total) and regional recirculations from the east (34.8% of total), mainly caused by the stagnant synoptic pattern in summertime over the Iberian Peninsula. The lowest PBLHs are associated with north (19.6% of total) and northeast (4.3% of total) synoptic flows, when fresh air masses tend to lower PBLH. The adaptive nature of the EKF technique allows retrieval of reliable PBLH without the need for long time averaging or range smoothing, as typical with classic methods.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: An improvement of the estimation of mineral dust longwave, direct radiative forcing is presented. It is based on recent developments that combine sun-photometer and multi-wavelength lidar data to retrieve range-resolved coarse- and fine-mode extinction coefficients. The forcings are calculated separately for each mode and their sum is compared to the classical approach in which only the total extinction is considered. The results of four cases of mineral dust intrusion in Barcelona, Spain, show that when the coarse mode predominates the longwave forcings calculated with the classical approach are underestimated up to 20 % near the surface. In all cases the strong coarse mode predominance near the surface has also an effect on the forcing in the upper layers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The planetary boundary-layer (PBL) is defined as the height of the inversion level separating the free troposphere from the boundary-layer [Stull, 1988]. PBL height is an important parameter in applications ranging from climate studies to air quality modeling. Lidars with high spatial (< 30 m) and temporal (< 5 min) resolutions can be employed to monitor the PBL height using aerosols as tracers.
This study evaluates an approach using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) to estimate the PBL height in different atmospheric situations over Barcelona, Spain. PBL heights estimated by the EKF method are compared with classic methods (gradient, Haar wavelet, radiosondes, etc.) under 7 atmospheric conditions.
Atmospheric situations are selected using a cluster analysis of 2-day backtrajectories from the NOAA HYSPLIT model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Pesticide spray drift entails a series of risks and costs in terms of human, animal and environmental well-being. A proper understanding of this phenomenon is essential to minimise these risks. However, most conventional methods used in drift measurement are based on point collectors which are unable to obtain information concerning the temporal or spatial evolution of the pesticide cloud. Such methods are also costly, labour-intensive, and require a considerable amount of time. The aim of this paper is to propose a method to measure the spray drift based on lidar (LIght Detection And Ranging) and to prove that it can be an alternative to passive collectors. An analytical model is proposed to relate the measurements obtained through passive collectors and those obtained with lidar systems considering several spray application and meteorological parameters. The model was tested through an experimental campaign involving multiple ground spray tests. A lidar system and two types of passive collectors (nylon strings and water-sensitive paper) were used simultaneously to measure the drift. The results showed for each test a high coefficient of determination (R2 ≈ 0.90) between the lidar signal and the tracer mass captured by the nylon strings. This coefficient decreased (R2 = 0.77) when all tests were considered together. Lidar measurements were also used to study the evolution of the pesticide cloud with high range (1.5 m) and temporal resolution (1 s) and to estimate its velocity. Furthermore, a very satisfactory adjustment (R2 = 0.89) was observed between the tracer mass collected by the nylon lines and the coverage on water-sensitive paper sheets. These results are in accordance with the proposed analytical model and allow the conclusion that the application and meteorological parameters can be considered spatially invariant for a given test but are not invariant for different tests.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Atmospheric Environment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The depth of the planetary boundary-layer (PBL) is defined as the height of the inversion level separating the free troposphere (FT) from the boundary-layer (Stull, 1988). Reliable representation of PBL height is important in applications ranging from climate studies to air quality modeling. Convective turbulent mixing processes are dominant in the mixing layer of the PBL and have a major influence on the growth and transport of atmospheric pollutants. In recent years, lidar (laser radar) has proven to be a useful operational tool for nearly continuous monitoring of the lowest levels of the atmosphere with high spatial (~ 3.75 m) and temporal (< 5 min) resolutions. Four Raman-elastic multi-wavelength lidar stations from EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network) conducted a 72-hr campaign of continuous observations over Spain (Barcelona, Granada, Madrid) and Portugal (Evora) in early July 2012. This study systematically exploits 1-min averaged, range-squared-corrected lidar signals (RSCS) from the 532 nm analog reception channel of the instruments. Several methods that have been applied in previous literature to derive PBL height from vertical aerosol backscatter profiles are compared. Most widely used are derivative techniques such as the gradient method (GM), inflection point method (IPM), and logarithm gradient method (LGM) and covariance techniques such as the wavelet covariance transform (WCT) method using a Haar wavelet. The methods function by detecting steep gradients in the aerosol backscatter profile, a proxy for the transition zone between the PBL and FT. It is found that all the methods provide comparable results. However, it is determined that WCT is an optimal method as it is more computationally efficient than the derivative techniques. In summer, PBL heights over the Iberian Peninsula are typically between 1-3 km. In addition, spatial patterns and diurnal variation of the PBL height and an analysis of the meteorological situation over the study area are also conducted. Backward trajectories from the NOAA HYSPLIT model indicate aerosols arrived from tropical maritime origins over the eastern Atlantic Ocean in the previous 24-48 hours of the campaign. Overall, it is shown that lidar can be an effective means of obtaining accurate PBL heights on a nearly continuous basis.