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VITAL Summer School 2024 Projects

Dur­ing the HErZ 2024 Sum­mer School, par­tic­i­pants will work in groups of 2–5 peo­ple on a dis­tinct research project.

Group Fluxes: Eddy Covariance Measurements

While quan­tifi­ca­tion of car­bon flux­es at glob­al scale is impor­tant (e.g. mit­i­ga­tion strate­gies), most car­bon flux mea­sure­ments are only avail­able at spe­cif­ic sites. Dif­fer­ent types of mea­sure­ment approach­es to deter­mine the car­bon diox­ide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) flux­es exist. In this project we will derive and com­pare the flux­es from two in-situ approach­es: The eddy covari­ance method and the flux-gra­di­ent method.  For this, this group will work with data from an eddy covari­ance set up on the mea­sure­ments tow­er in Jülich as well as con­cen­tra­tion pro­files from the UAS.

Group Aerosol: How much “dirt” is in the atmosphere?

Aerosol obser­va­tions are often con­fined to near-sur­face, are how­ev­er nec­es­sary ingre­di­ents for cloud for­ma­tion. New drone tech­nol­o­gy makes it pos­si­ble to sense the mass con­cen­tra­tion of aerosols with­in the atmos­pher­ic bound­ary lay­er, where most of live. The par­tic­i­pants will take these obser­va­tions and com­pare them to fixed obser­va­tions at 120m above the sur­face (mete­o­ro­log­i­cal tow­er). Are drone obser­va­tions reli­able? How does the aerosol con­cen­tra­tion change above this height (up to 2km) dur­ing the course of the day? Can you relate this to the mix­ing with­in the bound­ary lay­er? Or rather to the syn­op­tic forc­ing? This group will work with UAS par­ti­cle mea­sure­ment data, LIDAR and Ceilome­ter data.

Group UAS: Profiling with Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

One of the goals of HErZ HIRES-APP is to assess the suit­abil­i­ty of UAS (Uncrewed Air­craft Sys­tems) / mul­ti­copters for oper­a­tional ver­ti­cal pro­fil­ing of the atmos­phere. This group will per­form reg­u­lar UAS flights and com­pare the UAS-derived wind vec­tor as well as mea­sured tem­per­a­ture, humid­i­ty and par­ti­cles to tow­er and LIDAR, HATPRO and oth­er pro­fil­ing devices.

Group Clouds: How much water is in the cloud?

Iden­ti­fy cumu­lus clouds over the Research Cen­ter and doc­u­ment them with your cam­era. Find them in ceilome­ter, cloud radar and microwave radiome­ter obser­va­tion data. Coim­bine with below-cloud wind obser­va­tions from Doppler lidar to esti­mate their dimen­sion. Final­ly: cal­cu­late the amount of water in the cloud (tons!?) “float­ing” above you. Can you char­ac­ter­ize cloud devel­op­ment over the time of day?

Group Precipitation: How variable is local rainfall?

Using dis­drom­e­ter (drop size) mea­sure­ments of pre­cip­i­ta­tion on a 120m tow­er and on the ground the ver­ti­cal dis­tri­b­u­tion of pre­cip­i­ta­tion will be mea­sured and ana­lyzed. What is influ­enc­ing the drop size dis­tri­b­u­tions? How does the hor­i­zon­tal dif­fer­ence look? Do radars radars tells the same sto­ry?

Group Water Vapor: What about the invisible water in the atmosphere?

Water vapor is an impor­tant com­po­nent of the hydro­log­i­cal cycle: no water vapor means no clouds means no rain. But how can we mea­sure how much is in the atmos­phere? The group will use nov­el sen­sor tech­nol­o­gy (lidar, microwave radiome­ter, drones, radiosonde) to find out how much water vapor is where and how it varies dur­ing the course of the day. Which instru­ment shows the best per­for­mance?

Group Model Evaluation: How well does ICON predict vertical profiles over JOYCE during VITAL?

Does the mod­el have a clue of what’s going on over Jülich? Over the ABC/J (Aachen-Bonn-Cologne-Jülich) area we run a numer­i­cal weath­er pre­dic­tion mod­el with very high grid spac­ing (~100m) that con­sid­ers tur­bu­lence, cloud for­ma­tion, topog­ra­phy and sur­face inter­ac­tion in a more sophis­ti­cat­ed way than the mod­el of the Ger­man Weath­er Ser­vice. Com­pared to the VITAL I obser­va­tions: Can this mod­el cap­ture the diur­nal vari­abil­i­ty of of tem­per­a­ture, winds, water vapor, clouds aerosols and pre­cip­i­ta­tion in an ade­quate way? How sen­si­tive are clouds to the assumed aerosol (CCN) con­cen­tra­tion?

Group Satellites: How do satellites compare with ground-based remote sensing?

Tem­per­a­ture and humid­i­ty pro­files deter­mine the atmos­pher­ic sta­bil­i­ty and devel­op­ment of con­vec­tion. The dis­tri­b­u­tion of tem­per­a­ture and humid­i­ty can be mea­sured from satel­lite and ground-based remote sens­ing sen­sors. What are the strengths and lim­i­ta­tions of both approach­es? The groups will com­pare atmos­pher­ic pro­files obtained from MetOp-IASI and ground base remote sens­ing sen­sors (MWR, LIDAR) and eval­u­ate them against in-situ radiosonde obser­va­tions.

Group Aerosols from pit mines: Can we measure aerosol emissions from a pit mine with ceilometers?

This project aims to detect aerosols emit­ted from the Inden pit mine using ceilome­ters and inves­ti­gate their impact on near­by atmos­pher­ic struc­tures, such as the bound­ary lay­er height. The find­ings will con­tribute to under­stand­ing air qual­i­ty dynam­ics and envi­ron­men­tal impli­ca­tions in the region.


Group Land use change: How does land use change effect CO2 fluxes?

We would like to inves­ti­gate CO2 flux­es and con­cen­tra­tions for areas with dif­fer­ent land use under the influ­ence of oth­er mete­o­ro­log­i­cal para­me­ters. In par­tic­u­lar, we want to deter­mine the dif­fer­ences between for­est (Jülich Research Cen­tre), agri­cul­tur­al land (Sel­hausen) and the open pit mines in the area of Jülich


Group Surface temperatures: Are surface temperatures influenced by open pit mines?

We want to inves­ti­gate the impact of the local open pit mines on the local tem­per­a­ture. There­fore we will set up tem­per­a­ture, wind speed and wind direc­tion mea­sur­ing sta­tions around the pit mine and at Jülich Forschungszen­trum. How large will be the tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ences? Will we detect a diur­nal cycle? File:Tagebau Inden, gesehen von der Goltsteinkuppe-0178.jpg

© Rai­mond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

Group Cold pool edges: How high do cold pools reach?

We want to make use of the com­pre­hen­sive VITAL remote sens­ing suite to char­ac­ter­ize the ver­ti­cal struc­tures of cold pool edges. The strong near-sur­face gra­di­ents  are well known and every­one has already expe­ri­enced the strong gust fronts at ground lev­el. We will now explore this edge high above our heads up to a cou­ple of kilo­me­ters.

Synoptics: Radiosondes and Synoptic Overview

Togeth­er, all par­tic­i­pants will con­tribute to dai­ly brief­in­gs, reports and radiosonde launch­es.

Can the drones fly tomor­row? Weath­er fore­cast­ing, record­ing and doc­u­men­ta­tion is an essen­tial part of any mete­o­ro­log­i­cal mea­sure­ment cam­paign. Par­tic­i­pants will pre­pare dai­ly weath­er fore­casts and present these dur­ing the cam­paign brief­ing. In addi­tion, reg­u­lar radiosonde ascents need to be orga­nized and car­ried out cor­re­spond­ing to the cam­paign needs. Par­tic­i­pants are respon­si­ble for a short doc­u­men­ta­tion of day to day weath­er sit­u­a­tion, which is essen­tial for the fur­ther analy­sis of the cam­paign data.

a radiosonde being launched into the blue sky