Convective Processes Experiment – Cabo Verde

Seeking to better understand atmospheric processes in regions with little data, the Convective Processes Experiment – Cabo Verde (CPEX-CV) campaign conducted by NASA is a continuation of the CPEX – Aerosols & Winds (CPEX-AW) campaign that took place between August to September 2021. The campaign will take place between 1-30 September 2022 and will operate out of Sal Island, Cabo Verde with the primary goal of investigating atmospheric dynamics, marine boundary layer properties, convection, the dust-laden Saharan Air Layer, and their interactions across various spatial scales to improve understanding and predictability of process-level lifecycles in the data-sparse tropical East Atlantic region.

CPEX-CV will work towards its goal by addressing four main science objectives. The first goal is to improve understanding of the interaction between large-scale environmental forcings such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), Saharan Air Layer, African easterly waves, and mid-level African easterly jet, and the lifecycle and properties of convective cloud systems, including tropical cyclone precursors, in the tropical East Atlantic region. Next, observations will be made about how local kinematic and thermodynamic conditions, including the vertical structure and variability of the marine boundary layer, relate to the initiation and lifecycle of convective cloud systems and their processes. Third, CPEX-CV will investigate how dynamical and convective processes affect size dependent Saharan dust vertical structure, long-range Saharan dust transport, and boundary layer exchange pathways. The last objective will be to assess the impact of CPEX-CV observations of atmospheric winds, thermodynamics, clouds, and aerosols on the prediction of tropical Atlantic weather systems and validate and interpret spaceborne remote sensors that provide similar measurements.

To achieve these objectives, the NASA DC-8 aircraft will be deployed with remote sensing instruments and dropsondes that will allow for the measurement of tropospheric aerosols, winds, temperature, water vapor, and precipitation. Instruments onboard the aircraft include the Airborne Third Generation Precipitation Radar (APR-3), lidars such as the Doppler Aerosol WiNd Lidar (DAWN), High Altitude Lidar Observatory (HALO), High Altitude Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) Sounding Radiometer (HAMSR), Advanced Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS) dropsonde system, Cloud Aerosol and Precipitation Spectrometer (CAPS), and the Airborne In-situ and Radio Occultation (AIRO) instrument. Measurements taken by CPEX-CV will assist in moving science forward from previous CPEX and CPEX-AW missions, the calibration and validation of satellite measurements, and the development of airborne sensors, especially those with potential for satellite deployment.

Disciplines:   Field Campaigns

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