Boundary layer profiling with a ceilometer

We've acquired a Vaisala CL31 laser ceilometer system for use in profiling the lower boundary layer. This system gives us the capability to measure the vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols up to a height of 7.5 km.  Our system can measure backscatter every 5 meters while recording a profile every 10 seconds.

Our latest use of the system was in the summer of 2008 in Albuquerque, NM.

This photo shows our CL31 collocated with an Optec NGN-2 nephelometer at the Albuquerque NCore site (Del Norte High School)
Here we have deployed the ceilometer along side the tethered balloon to compare backscatter with temperature soundings.


During the Albuquerque study we took the ceilometer out to the Big Spring wildfire near the village of Tajique, NM.  We located the ceilometer directly under the smoke plume and took data for about an hour.  In the image below we show the raw backscatter signal during that time.  The area in yellow indicated an episode that felt like a microburst stirring up dust and smoke.

This picture was taken on June 25, 2008 as the wildfire was very active.


Back to main page

Last updated on 14 July 2008
Contact: Dave DuBois