Detailed Planning

Most surface remote-sensing systems sample only two-dimensional slices of atmosphere, and instrumented aircraft samples are limited to long lines of data of a few mm2 cross section each. Their use, over the short duration of an intensive observation period, must therefore be highly optimized; compromises must be made on where to locate surface systems and which flight tracks to allocate to each aircraft. Thus, the preparation of a field experiment involves preliminary studies of the expected phenomena to identify very specific and observable signatures of the physical processes and mechanisms that are supposed to express the impact of the large-scale meteorological and microscale aerosol forcings. The use of large-scale modeling, process modeling, and theory is extremely helpful in designing testable hypotheses which observational datasets can help to refute. A clear and precise definition of the sampling strategy is by far the most important ingredient of a micro- and mesoscale observation program.

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