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ATMOSLAB - Airborne Laboratory Equipped for Special Research Missions
Analytical ServiceLast update : 2013.12.05
RI Category
Atmospheric Measurement Facilities
Aircraft, aerosol, lidar, icing, atmosphere, research, droplet, particle, environment, pollution, in-situ
ATMOSLAB consists of a fully operational airborne laboratory, a ground mobile laboratory and a parallel computing system. The airborne laboratory is based on a twin-engine turboprop aircraft with an operational range of 2000 km and a maximum operating altitude of 9000m, it is equipped with a cloud, aerosol and precipitation spectrometer (CAPS) or a full wavelength topographic lidar on the left wingtip and a SPEC Hawkeye cloud particle and precipitation probe on the right wingtip. The ground mobile laboratory is equipped with computing systems for data pre-processing for on the ground validation, control systems for UAV flight management, direct communication systems with the aircraft allowing real time bidirectional data transfers and the necessary antennae. The parallel computing system fulfills any data processing needs which arise from research activities.
Application Area
Topographical lidar scan
Custom flights for research purposes with the topographical lidar resulting in georeferenced cloud points, colorised cloud points, digital terrain models or other processed products.
Cloud and atmosphere probing
Customized flights in non-icing conditions with onboard meteorological equipment providing measurements of aerosols and cloud particles (droplets or ice crystals).

Topographical LIDAR

A full waveform Riegl Q680i topogaphical LIDAR mounted on the left wingtip of the aircraft in a custom pod together with GPS and inertial navigation systems. Its main features are:

- Full waveform analysis for unlimited number of target echoes

- Multiple-time-around (MTA) processing

- High laser pulse repetition rates up to 400 kHz

- Up to 266 000 measurements/sec on the ground

- High ranging accuracy up to 20 mm

- High scan speed up to 200 lines/s

- Wide scan field of view up to 60°

- Parallel scan lines

- Interface for smooth integration of GPS

Cloud, Aerosol and Precipitation Spectrometer (CAPS)

Mounted on the left wingtip in lieu of the lidar pod. It provides the following data:

- Aerosol particle and cloud hydrometeor size distributions from 0.51 to 50 ?m

- Precipitation size distributions from 25 ?m to 1550 ?m

- Particle optical properties (refractive index)

- Particle shape assessments (discrimination between water and ice)

- Liquid water content from 0.01 to 3 g/m3

- Aircraft velocity

- Atmospheric temperature and pressure


Mounted on the right wing tip, the SPEC Hawkeye probe provides information on ice crystals and water droplets.