Earth Science Airborne Instruments Complete Winter Storm Campaign

MSFC Earth Science Branch (ESB) airborne instruments called the Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR) and the Lightning Instrument Package (LIP) completed the third and final flight campaign for the NASA Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms (IMPACTS) suborbital mission. IMPACTS 2023 occurred during January/February. AMPR and LIP operated successfully on 12 science flights on the NASA ER-2, which performed remote sensing over the winter storms, as well as additional transit and check flights. Ten of the science flights were coordinated with the NASA P-3 aircraft, which flew in cloud below the ER-2 and gathered direct microphysical observations. Additional IMPACTS flight campaigns occurred in 2020 and 2022. IMPACTS seeks to understand how heavy snowbands occur and how to improve precipitation retrievals in them. AMPR (instrument scientist: Timothy Lang) makes passive observations of microwave emission in the 10-85 GHz range, which provides information about cloud, precipitation, and surface properties. LIP (instrument scientist: Christopher Schultz) makes observations of three-dimensional electric field vectors, which provides information about cloud electrification and lightning, which in turn enable indirect assessments of cloud microphysical evolution. Timothy Lang also served as a mission scientist for IMPACTS. Additional ST11, UAH, and

USRA personnel involved in the IMPACTS 2023 deployment include Corey Amiot, Monte Bateman, Richard Blakeslee, Dennis Buechler, Julia Burton, Jonathan Hicks, Douglas Huie, Douglas Mach, Mason Quick, and Amanda Richter. AMPR and LIP will fly again in a July 2023 tropical thunderstorm ER-2 campaign called ALOFT, along with the ESB's Fly's Eye Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) Simulator (FEGS).

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