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Atmospheric Measurements at Capel Dewi field station. Prof. Geraint Vaughan. Where is it?. Aerial view of site. Lidar container. Bungalow. Field of antennae. Instruments on site. UK Mesosphere-stratosphere-troposphere (MST) radar Boundary-layer wind profiler Surface weather station

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Atmospheric Measurements at Capel Dewi field station

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Atmospheric measurements at capel dewi field station

Atmospheric Measurements at Capel Dewi field station

Prof. Geraint Vaughan

Where is it

Where is it?

Aerial view of site

Aerial view of site




Field of antennae

Instruments on site

Instruments on site

  • UK Mesosphere-stratosphere-troposphere (MST) radar

  • Boundary-layer wind profiler

  • Surface weather station

  • Five-wavelength mobile ozone-aerosol lidar

  • Fixed ozone and water vapour lidars

  • Lidar ceilometer

  • GPS receiver (total water vapour column)

  • Spectrometer for stratospheric measurements

The mst radar

The MST radar

This is a VHF radar: 47.5 Mhz, or a wavelength of about 6 m. It consists of a field of 400 antennae (the aerial) and transmitter/receiver equipment in the bungalow.

It runs continuously, measuring profiles of winds, atmospheric structure and turbulence every 2 minutes, from 2 to ~16-20 km altitude

Example day 15 june 2005

Example day: 15 June 2005

Wind measurements

Wind measurements

Plot shows 24 hours wind measurements on 15 June 2005.

High winds near 10 km show a jet stream – note that it changes direction over the course of the day.

Note strong wind shear above and below the jet.

Echo power measurements

Echo power measurements

Same day, 15 June 2005.

Radar measures tropopause height (crosses) where the signal increases with height. Note relation between tropopause and jet stream.

Low power at lower levels is due to water vapour, but rain suppresses echoes. Note:

Low power 0300 – 0600 as front passes over

Strong layering later in the day, indicating descending air and stability to convection

Boundary layer wind profiler

Boundary-layer wind profiler

Similar to MST radar but measures at lower heights – 100 m to around 3 km.

Radar system working at 1.29 GHz – around 24 cm wavelength

Antennae are much smaller and each panel contains an array of 64 of them (8x8)

Three panels pointing in different directions measure winds

Measurements of winds and echo power every 2 minutes, continuously.

Wind profiler measurements

Wind profiler measurements

Signal to noise ratio,

15 June 2005

Wind direction,

15 June 2005

Surface met data

Surface Met Data

Vector Instruments Anemometer on 10 m tower on top of hill nearby

Campbell Scientific Weather station:

Temperature, rainfall, RH, sunshine

Surface measurements

Surface measurements

Note zero rainfall: rain did not reach ground during frontal passage

Lidar basic principles

Lidar: Basic principles

  • LIDAR – Light Detection and Ranging

  • Similar principle to RADAR – pulses of light emitted into the atmosphere and scattered back by clouds, aerosols or air molecules.

  • Time-of-flight gives scattering height z=½ct

  • Light collected by a telescope

  • Spectrometers or interference filters isolate wavelength concerned




LIDAR instrument using infra-red wavelengths to measure cloud height

Ceilometer data for 2 4 07

Ceilometer data for 2/4/07

Mobile aerosol ozone lidar

Mobile aerosol-ozone lidar

Lidar using five ultraviolet wavelengths to measure aerosol and ozone profiles

Ozone aerosol measurements

Ozone/aerosol measurements

Black line denotes top of boundary layer – below this the air is polluted with lots of aerosol. But ozone is relatively low: note how the ozone increases above the boundary layer on this day

Raman lidar

355 nm


X10 Beam expander (refracting telescope)

Raman lidar


To atmosphere

From atmosphere


Water vapour measurements by raman scattering

Water vapour measurements by Raman scattering

Aberystwyth Dec 9 2001

Ozone measurements june 5 2000

Ozone measurements June 5 2000

Above: tropospheric measurements from 289/299 nm pair.

Below: stratospheric measurements from 299 alone. (We now do DIAL with 299/316 for stratosphere)

Saoz spectrometer

SAOZ spectrometer

Stratospheric Nitrogen dioxide column measurements from Aberystwyth, 1990-2005

Health and safety

Health and Safety

  • On entering the site, please report directly to the site bungalow. Vehicle speed should not excede 10 mph. Do not stray from the track.

  • At the site bunglow, please report directly to the site manager (or other representative of the Facility).

  • Within the site bungalow, on no account enter the transmitter room, unless given permission to do so by the site manager.

  • Outside of the site bungalow, please do not touch any equipment. Do not enter the antenna array unless given permission to do so by the site manager.

  • Do not enter cordoned-off areas

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