July 1, 2003 to July 21, 2003
Project Description: 

CSTRIPE is field experiment designed to quantify the effect aerosol has on the microphysics, precipitation and dynamics of marine stratocumulus (MSc). The CIRPAS Twin Otter aircraft will be deployed in a three week mission off the coast of Monterey, California in July, 2003. The strategy is a blend from two previous field experiments, MAST and ACE-2, that were directed towards aerosol-MSc interactions. MAST (Monterey Area Ship Track Experiment) was successful in that it targeted ship tracks. Use of a localized aerosol perturbation, such as ship tracks, obviates the difficulty of separating aerosol-forced signals from meteorologically forced signals. ACE-2 (The second Aerosol Characterization Experiment) was successful in that it used a number of well articulated closure studies to evaluate state-of-the-art models including: hygroscopic and CCN activity of aerosol; cloud activation; the effect of entrainment mixing on the vertical and horizontal distribution of cloud microphysics; and the link between cloud microphysics and the radiative properties of the clouds (i.e. both albedo and bidirectional reflectance used by satellites to retrieve cloud optical properties). By using both a closure strategy, as in ACE-2, and the contrast provided by a localized aerosol perturbation, as in MAST, it is hoped to achieve an unprecedented degree of success with relatively modest resources. A new element added to the strategy is the use of hygroscopic cloud seeding flares as a controlled and well characterized perturbation. CSTRIPE is supported by the Office of Naval Research.

For more information, please see the Caltech CSTRIPE page.