EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Profiling Saharan Airborne Dust with UAV-based in-situ Instrumentation during the ASKOS Experiment in Cape Verde

Maria Kezoudi1, Franco Marenco1,2, Alkistis Papetta1, Christos Keleshis1, Claire Ryder3, Konrad Kandler4, Joe Girdwood5, Chris Stopford5, Frank Wienhold6, Ru-Shan Gao7, Eleni Marinou8, Vassilis Amiridis8, Grisa Mocnik9, Holger Baars10, and Jean Sciare1
Maria Kezoudi et al.
  • 1The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia Cyprus
  • 2Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 3University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • 4Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • 5University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom
  • 6Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland
  • 7NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder Co, U.S.
  • 8National Observatory of Athens (NOA), Greece
  • 9University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia
  • 10Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, Germany

The ASKOS experimental campaign of European Space Agency (ESA) was organised by the National Observatory of Athens, and aimed at the calibration and validation of the Aeolus satellite aerosol/cloud product. Airborne observations were performed by the Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre (CARE-C) team of the Cyprus Institute at the Cesaria Evora International Airport of the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde between 10 and 30 June 2022. These in-situ aerosol measurements were conducted using the advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of the Unmanned System Research Laboratory (USRL), equipped with specialised aerosol in-situ sensors, capturing the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) from ground up to 5.3 km Above Sea Level (ASL). The new custom-designed Composite Bird (CoBi) USRL and Skywalker UAVs (Kezoudi et al., 2021), were equipped with Optical Particle Counters (OPCs), samplers and backscatter sondes.

25 UAV vertical flights were performed in total, with 11 of them during night. The altitude of the Marine Boundary Layer (MBL) was mainly observed from ground up to about 1.0 km ASL, whereas during most of the flights, high concentrations of dust particles were found between 1.5 and 5.0 km ASL. Results obtained from OPCs show the presence of particles sizing up to 20 um within MBL and up to 40 um within SAL. Further information on morphology and mineralogy of observed particles will be given by the offline analysis of collected samples under Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). COBALD observations alongside ground-based lidar measurements agree on the presence of non-spherical particles within dust layers.  

Ongoing exploitation of airborne observations along with coincident and collocated ground-based measurements will provide a complete picture for comparison with Aeolus data, particularly in relation to aerosols, where we have the most to learn.

How to cite: Kezoudi, M., Marenco, F., Papetta, A., Keleshis, C., Ryder, C., Kandler, K., Girdwood, J., Stopford, C., Wienhold, F., Gao, R.-S., Marinou, E., Amiridis, V., Mocnik, G., Baars, H., and Sciare, J.: Profiling Saharan Airborne Dust with UAV-based in-situ Instrumentation during the ASKOS Experiment in Cape Verde, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17090,, 2023.