The 2-D (Stereo) Probe: Design and preliminary tests of a new airborne, high-speed, high-resolution, particle imaging probe
Lawson, R. Paul
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The design, laboratory calibrations, and flight tests of a new optical imaging instrument, the twodimensional stereo (2D-S) probe, are presented. Two orthogonal laser beams cross in the middle of the sample volume. Custom, high-speed, 128-photodiode linear arrays and electronics produce shadowgraph images with true 10- m pixel resolution at aircraft speeds up to 250 m s 1. An overlap region is defined by the two laser beams, improving the sample volume boundaries and sizing of small ( 100 m) particles, compared to conventional optical array probes. The stereo views of particles in the overlap region can also improve determination of three-dimensional properties of some particles. Data collected by three research aircraft are examined and discussed. The 2D-S sees fine details of ice crystals and small water drops coexisting in mixed-phase cloud. Measurements in warm cumuli collected by the NCAR C-130 during the Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) project provide a test bed to compare the 2D-S with 2D cloud (2D-C) and 260X probes. The 2D-S sees thousands of cloud drops 150 m when the 2D-C and 260X probes see few or none. The data suggest that particle images and size distributions ranging from 25 to 150 m and collected at airspeeds 100 m s 1 by the 2D-C and 260X probes are probably (erroneously) generated from out-of-focus particles. Development of the 2D-S is in its infancy, and much work needs to be done to quantify its performance and generate software to analyze data.
Journal of Atmosheric, and Ocean Technology, Vol 23, pp. 1462-1477, 2006.
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