Effective aerosol tracking
With their accurate measurements of aerosol structure, MPL systems are versatile tools for air quality forecasting:
Track aerosol transport and mixing into surface layers of air.
Observe plumes from major events such as forest fires, dust storms, and volcanic eruptions.
Trace gas-phase pollutants via their associated aerosols.
Fast, reliable, high-resolution PBL measurements
Since aerosols accumulate in the PBL—the layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth’s surface—MPLs are ideally suited for PBL profiling across applications.
Get a clear forecast
Solar heating of the planet’s surface readily warms the air in the PBL—driving the weather. As a result, measuring PBL height and approximate volume enhances weather prediction models.
Improve emissions estimates
CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from surface sources collect in the PBL, and PBL height is needed to calculate top-down emissions estimates. Climate scientists can therefore use PBL data to refine GHG inventories.
Optimize wind energy measurements
PBL height affects the vertical profile of near-surface wind speeds and the amount of energy available for wind turbines, making PBL measurements useful input to wind power meteorological forecasts for planning and management.
MiniMPL PBL data, NASA DISCOVER-AQ, Edgewood, MD.
This NRB time sequence of 30-second averaged profiles shows optically thick low clouds at night, indicated by high backscatter intensity near 0.5–1 kilometers between 0:00–04:00 hours UTC (local time is UTC minus 5). Then the cloud clears to reveal the prior day’s residual PBL height with advection and entrainment at PBL top (green signal level near 2 kilometers). Then at 11:00 hours UTC rising daytime PBL is observed as the rising yellow signal level on the right side of the plot. Also detected are turbulent mixing features in the lower morning PBL and dynamics along the rising PBL edge showcasing the MiniMPL’s excellent signal-to-noise ratio and sensitivity.