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EASI: Exploring Air Sea Interaction via airborne data – a training course

Start date: 25-06-2017 - End date: 04-07-2017

Status: Confirmed

Open to sharing: Yes

Confidential: No

Transnational Access: Yes

Open to training: Yes

Grounded / Maintenance: No


Aircraft name: ATR42 - SAFIRE

Airport: The location of the Training Course is Shannon, with the aircraft based at Shannon Airport. A position close to the airport will be chosen to maximize the training course outcome and contain transporting expenses. Location of the school provides, beyond lodging, classroom and teaching facilities too. A collaboration with the airport authorities that might provide useful ancillary services, as real time weather radar images would be profitable: efforts will be promoted in this direction. Shannon airport has been selected for the three following reasons: 1) the airport is close to the coast, and hence its position is ideal for the specific scientific purpose of the school, wich is to collect measurements on air-sea interaction and near-coastal boundary layer structure and dynamics; 2) Shannon airport is not new to this kind of experience, a noticeable example is the NASA project studying the chemistry of aircraft emissions in the trans-Atlantic flight corridor (SONEX:; 3) Shannon is the closest available airport to Mace Head station, with which we established an agreement for a synergic use of data during the timeframe of the EUFAR school. The agreement relies also on the existence of a joint lab established in 2015 between the italian CNR-ISAC (the institution of the present proposal PI) and the Center for Climate & Air Pollution Studies, National University of Ireland. We already contacted Shannon Airport authorities and received their positive feedback about the proposal. Moreover, to find the best solution for the venue, we contacted Karen Brosnahan, who is the General Manager of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau.

Project description

Project theme: TA-017. Proposals for training courses in hyperspectral imaging applications or in-situ sampling

Project abstract: The primary goal of the EASI proposed course is to teach and train students (PhD and Post-graduate) and young scientists on the use of a research aircraft, and on the experimental possibilities it opens for atmospheric physics and chemistry research. This implies providing them with a complete overview of the airborne and remote sensing experimental techniques, and on specific features of collection and analysis of airborne measurements. In addition, EASI aims at trasferring to participants consolidated knowledge, and recent advancements in relation to the specific topics of air-sea interaction, and near coastal boundary layer structure and dynamics. It is planned to host about 20 students that will be selected on the basis of their CV, and of a short scientific proposal about possible measurements and related research questions. The EUFAR Training school, once approved, will be advertised through its standard means, and an call will be opened to select participants. There are no specific prerequisites for the course, but having a background in atmospheric and ocean sciences, geophysics, and/or meteorology will be positively considered. Trainees have to design a flight plan and participate to a flight experiment. The data gathered are then processed and analysed with the support of tutors, who are experienced users of airborne facilities. EASI training course is planned to take place either from June 25, to July 4, 2017 close to Shannon Airport , Ireland (53°N,9°W). To fully exploit the possibilities opened by a instrumented aircraft at disposal, we established an agreement with Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station (, to organise a synergic use of the data collected both from the aircraft and from the ground station, during the school time frame. Specifically, flight experiments and lectures of EASI will deal with the problem of air-sea interaction, focusing on turbulence fluctuations in the near coastal boundary layer, clouds micro-physics, atmospheric composition and its impacts on climate, momentum and heat exchanges at the air/sea interface. Lectures will be alternated with working groups on instrument calibration, safety issues and data analysis. The PI of this proposal has led the EUFAR training course TETRAD in 2010. A preliminary list of invited lecturers is the following (not yet complete): Francesco Cairo, CNR ISAC Rome (Italy) - confirmed & member of EUFAR Maria Cristina Facchini, CNR ISAC Bologna (Italy) - confirmed Ian C. Faloona, University of California (USA) - confirmed & member of EUFAR Szymon Malinowski, Warsaw University, Warsaw (Poland) - confirmed & member of EUFAR Mario Miglietta, CNR ISAC Padova (Italy) - confirmed Olivier Henry, Météo-France/CNRM - confirmed & member of EUFAR

Measurements to be made by aircraft: The scientific objectives of this proposal can be summarised as follows: 1. The primary goal of the EASI course is to train participant on how to use an aircraft as a research tool and how to manage an experiment with airborne measurements. 2. The secondary goal of the school lectures and of the related experiments is to train and educate students about the air-sea interaction process and their influence on the near coastal boundary layer structure and dynamics. The training school experiments are conceived for education purpose and not for research. Hence, they do not aim at dealing with all physical and chemical factors relevant for this complex environment. Rather, they will focus on specific topics, such as the effects of coastal process on momentum and heat exchanges, and mixing; the near-coastal boundary layer structure and dynamics; marine aerosols and clouds formation at near coastal sites. Many of these topics can be discussed in relation to the available instrumentation of the SAFIRE ATR42 aircraft. From the available climatology for the region of Shannon, we expect to have mild weather condition , with mean daily temperatures in the range [10:20] °C, partly cloudy or cloudy sky, and relative humidity about 80%. These conditions are perfectly suitable for the purpose of the training school, dealing with measurements within the near-coastal boundary layer, and measurements at the base or inside marine clouds. As mentioned, the chosen application field is Air-Sea interaction and near-coastal boundary layer, for which in-situ observations represent a unique possibility to access to a wide range of highly resolved data. EASI school lectures, given by experts of airborne measurements and atmospheric physics and chemistry, will cover the following topics divided into three main themes: 1) Fundamentals on Airborne measurements - Introduction to the set of instruments on the aircraft - Aircraft operation limitations, flight plans and safety issues - Basic measurement techniques - Measurement issues unique to aircraft platform interaction with the environment - Data processing and interpretation issues 2) Near-coastal boundary layer (BL) and air-sea interaction - momentum & heat exchanges - mixing - mean and fluctuating components - BL structure & dynamics, and the role of the ocean 3) Atmospheric composition and the impact on climate - Marine aerosol micro-physics - Marine aerosol and cloud droplets concentration and size distribution - Impact on climate Summarising, the specific objectives of this proposal will be achieved by organising an intense and well structured training by means of: • Lectures on specific topics by experienced researchers • Lectures on airborne measurements and their limitations by expert of the fields • Training on the security issue for airborne measurements by SAFIRE staff • Individual/Group work to build up the flight plans and identify the scientific questions of the airborne experiment • Practical group work to discuss and analyse data: resolution issues, data interpretation. We will foster active learning by inviting student to handle specific scientific questions, and discuss them within the training group. It is expected that, at the end of the school, students have received: i) a first training of research aircraft, and airborne-based experimental techniques and research possibilities; ii) an overview of the scientific problems - related to air-sea interaction and near-coastal boundary layer structures and dynamics-, that can be tackled via in-situ measurements.

Season: From June 25, to July 4, 2017 . The prelimanary programme is available here:

Weather constraints: Clear and partly cloudy weather. Cloudy boundary layer.

Time constraints: The Training school is expected to last 10 to 12 days. Even if the baseline award for any Transnational Access proposal is 10 hours, we ask EUFAR to award 12-14 hours flight to this project. The reason of this request is the estimated transit flight time Toulouse-Shannon-Toulouse, of about 6:30h. SAFIRE agrees not to charge EUFAR for one transit flight. Having 12-14 hours granted would allow us to make four training flights of at least 1.5h each, and not having extremely rigid constraints on flight duration. Beyond this request, we do not have other time constraints, exception made for the airport authorization.

Flights (number and patterns): It is planned to make four flights, hosting five students each. Flight duration - which might vary depending on weather conditions-, is about 1,5 hours each. At the present stage, it is planned to negotiate flight paths for three days of flying, to be established. These can be useful to best exploit local weather conditions. Detailed flight paths will be designed during the training course, however some working airspace will be negotiated in advance, with airport authorities. Definition of the flight patterns will be done in the initial stages of the school, and will be an essential part of the training activities of the course. Generally, flight patterns are designed to best characterizing the physical properties of interest. In the present case, since we are interested in near-coastal boundary layer and air-sea interaction, we will fly in proximity of Mace Head facility. Aerosol-cloud interaction in the north Atlantic Marine Boundary Layer could also be studied, if we can exploit ground aerosol measurements at Mace Head, combined to aircraft measurements obtained from quasi-lagrangian flight legs.

Instruments: Airborne Aerosol Reference Pod - Microphysics

Scientific contact

Name: LANOTTE Alessandra Sabina

PI email: