by Ioannis Binietoglou

tropos front

In December 2014, I visited Leipzig, Germany, for a two-week secondment at the TROPOS institute. The purpose of my visit was a training on aerosol classification procedures and further insight into multiple aspects of operational lidar data processing.

During my secondment, I was introduced to several aspects of aerosol classification including databases of aerosol intensive properties that can be used for aerosol typing as well as modelling efforts, which provide consistent classification across multiple sensors. Additionally, I had the change to learn more about several data processing systems operating in Leipiz (SCC, PollyNet, Cloudnet) and discussed their benefits, limitations, and the ways EARLIENT lidar processing could benefit from the experience made with their systems. During my stay in Leipzig, I also had the chance to attend the PhD seminar of ITAR's fellow, Alexander Myagkov, concerning preliminary results of cloud observation during ACCEPT campaign.

A preliminary algorithm for cloud masking on uncalibrated lidar signals was developed as a direct result of the secondment. Cloud masking is an important first step of any lidar processing chain and it still is an outstanding problem in the fully automatic data processing of networks of lidar such as EARLINET. The newly developed algorithm takes multiple parameters to detect clouds in raw lidar signals with minimal user input into account. The algorithm uses data from TROPOS's PollyXT lidars and from the HYGRA-CD campaign organized in May-June 2014 by the ITARS fellow, Athina Argyrouli, and Prof. Alex Papapyannis in Athens. The preliminary results have been submitted for a poster presentation during the EGU 2015 meeting that will take place in Vienna, April 2015.

In total, the secondment in TROPOS was a very useful experience; it gave me an overview of the current status of research in TROPOS and helped me clarify my research goals in the following years. I would like to thank Ulla, Albert, Holger and all the TROPOS team for their help and hospitality during my stay.