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1.
Characterization of atmospheric properties over the Cherenkov Telescope Array at La Palma
Miha Živec, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope (IACT) systems are used in high-energy astrophysics to detect and study gamma-ray sources in the universe. These telescopes measure properties of cosmic gamma rays using Cherenkov radiation emitted by secondary particles produced after interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere. Atmospheric monitoring is crucial for the proper operation of IACT systems. A number of remote sensing and in situ methods are used to understand and correct the effects of the atmosphere on the propagation of Cherenkov radiation from its origin to the telescope. Failure to do so greatly decreases IACT performance, particularly, their energy resolution and threshold. Lidar systems can be used to measure atmospheric optical depth profiles, which are essential for IACT calibration. The main aim of this thesis is to demonstrate that a prototype lidar for the north-ern site of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO), which is a next-generation IACT now under construction, has hardware and software capabilities that would lead to the construction of CTAO Raman lidar. Due to specific require-ments of the CTAO, a Raman lidar, which can provide better atmospheric parameter accuracy, will be used for the first time in an IACT system. In 2021-2022 the BRL was deployed to the future CTAO-North site at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory, La Palma, for testing in its actual operating conditions. During a year and a half long test period, it underwent a number of tests, including manual and remote operation under various environmental conditions. These included hot summers, cold winters, rain, snow, ice, and strong winds, but also some more exotic events, such as desert sand intrusions (Calima) and volcanic eruptions. The latter two are presented in this work as test cases for atmospheric characterization. Since the main goal of a CTAO lidar is the optical depth measurements, the BRL does not have the full set of features for aerosol characterization. While it can yield the ˚Angstr¨om exponent and lidar ratio, it does not provide depolarization informa-tion, which is one of the key components for aerosol typing. As the atmosphere at La Palma was found to be more complex than initially anticipated, we present the benefits of including depolarization capability by using a conceptually similar Raman lidar system specifically designed for aerosol characterization. We present the results of a campaign focused on the determination of bioaerosol capabilities to act as cloud condensation nuclei and ice-nucleating particles in mixed-phase clouds, where depo-larization information was used to determine the thermodynamic phase of the cloud.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory, Raman Lidar, atmospheric optical depth, aerosol characterization, Cumbre Vieja, Calima
Published in RUNG: 23.10.2023; Views: 1137; Downloads: 39
.pdf Full text (26,88 MB)

2.
Investigation of Aerosol Properties and Structures in Two Representative Meteorological Situations over the Vipava Valley Using Polarization Raman LiDAR
Longlong Wang, Samo Stanič, William Eichinger, Griša Močnik, Luka Drinovec, Asta Gregorič, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Vipava valley in Slovenia is a representative hot-spot for complex mixtures of different aerosol types of both anthropogenic and natural origin. Aerosol loading distributions and optical properties were investigated using a two-wavelength polarization Raman LiDAR, which provided extinction coefficient, backscatter coefficient, depolarization ratio, backscatter Ångström exponent and LiDAR ratio profiles. Two different representative meteorological situations were investigated to explore the possibility of identifying aerosol types present in the valley. In the first case, we investigated the effect of strong downslope (Bora) wind on aerosol structures and characteristics. In addition to observing Kelvin–Helmholtz instability above the valley, at the height of the adjacent mountain ridge, we found new evidence for Bora-induced processes which inject soil dust aerosols into the free troposphere up to twice the height of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). In the second case, we investigated aerosol properties and distributions in stable weather conditions. From the observed stratified vertical aerosol structure and specific optical properties of different layers we identified predominant aerosol types in these layers.
Keywords: aerosol structures, aerosol characterization, polarization Raman LiDAR, Vipava valley
Published in RUNG: 08.03.2019; Views: 4199; Downloads: 118
.pdf Full text (3,11 MB)

3.
STUDY OF ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOL PROPERTIES IN THE VIPAVA VALLEY
Longlong Wang, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: The aim of the dissertation was to study aerosol loading distributions and properties over the Vipava valley, a representative hot-spot for complex mixtures of different aerosol types of both anthropogenic and natural origin. An infrared Mie and a two-wavelength polarization Raman lidar systems were used as main detection tools. The polarization Raman lidar, which provides the capability to extract the extinction coefficient, backscatter coefficients, depolarization ratio, backscatter Ångström exponent, lidar ratio and water vapor mixing ratio profiles, was itself designed, built and calibrated as a part of this thesis. Lidar data, combined with in-situ measurements, was used to determine detailed information on different aerosol types. Vertical profiles of aerosol mass concentration were extracted from the Mie lidar data taken in April 2016, where the in-situ measurements of aerosol size distribution and number concentration as well as aerosol absorption coefficient and black carbon mass concentration were used to estimate the mass extinction efficiency (MEE). Aerosol morphology and chemical composition determined by SEM-EDX on sampled particles were used for the identification of primary aerosol types. Two cases with different atmospheric conditions (long range mineral dust transport and local biomass burning) and different expected the dominant presence of specific aerosol types (mineral dust and soot) were investigated in more detail. They revealed significantly different aerosol properties and distributions within the valley, affecting radiative heat exchange. A more detailed investigation of aerosol properties throughout the troposphere in different atmospheric conditions was made possible by the two-wavelength polarization Raman lidar system, deployed in Ajdovščina (town of Vipava valley) from September 2017. Using its aerosol identification capabilities, based on particle depolarization ratio and lidar ratio measurements, it was possible to identify predominant aerosol types in the observed atmospheric structures, for example in different atmospheric layers in the case of the stratified atmosphere. Primary anthropogenic aerosols within the valley were found to be mainly emitted from two sources: individual domestic heating systems, which mostly use biomass fuel and traffic. Natural aerosols, transported over large distances, such as mineral dust and sea salt, were observed both above and entering into the planetary boundary layer. Backscatter contribution of each aerosol type was separated and the corresponding extinction contribution was derived from lidar observations.
Keywords: Vipava valley, aerosol distribution, aerosol characterization, lidar remote sensing, in-situ measurements, aerosol loading.
Published in RUNG: 23.10.2018; Views: 7781; Downloads: 158
.pdf Full text (29,39 MB)

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