Pico-Light H 2O: intercomparison of in situ water vapour measurements during the AsA 2022 campaign

Ghysels, Mélanie; Durry, Georges; Amarouche, Nadir; Hurst, Dale; Hall, Emrys; Xiong, Kensy; Dupont, Jean-Charles; Samake, Jean-Christophe; Frérot, Fabien; Bejjani, Raghed; Riviere, Emmanuel D.

The mid-infrared lightweight tunable diode laser hygrometer, “Pico-Light Hinline-formula2O”, the successor to Pico-SDLA Hinline-formula2O, is presented and its performances are evaluated during the AsA 2022 balloon-borne intercomparison campaign conducted at the CNES Aire-sur-l'Adour (AsA, 43.70° N; 0.25° W) balloon launch facility and the Aeroclub d'Aire-sur-l'Adour in France. The Pico-Light instrument has primarily been developed for sounding of the upper troposphere and stratosphere, although during the AsA 2022 campaign we expand the range of comparison to include additionally the lower troposphere. Three different types of hygrometer and two models of radiosonde were flown, operated by the French Space Agency (CNES) and the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory (GML) scientific teams: Pico-Light Hinline-formula2O, the NOAA Frost Point Hygrometer (FPH), the micro-hygrometer (in an early phase of development), and M20 and iMet-4 sondes. Within this framework, we intend to validate measurements of Pico-Light Hinline-formula2O through a first intercomparison with the NOAA FPH instrument. The in situ monitoring of water vapour in the upper troposphere–lower stratosphere continues to be very challenging from an instrumental point of view because of the very small amounts of water vapour to be measured in these regions of the atmosphere. Between the lapse rate tropopause (11–12.3 km) and 20 km, the mean relative difference between water vapour mixing ratio measurements by Pico-Light Hinline-formula2O and NOAA FPH was 4.2 % inline-formula± 7.7 %, and the mean tropospheric difference was 3.84 % inline-formula± 23.64 %, with differences depending on the altitude range considered. In the troposphere, relative humidity (RH) over water comparisons led to agreement between Pico-Light and NOAA FPH of inline-formula−0.2 % on average, with excursions of about 30 % RH due to moisture variability. Expanding the comparison to meteorological sondes, the iMet-4 sondes agree well with both Pico-Light and FPH between the ground and 7.5 km (within inline-formula± 3 % RH), as do the M20 sondes, up to 13 km, which are wet-biased by 3 % RH and dry-biased by 20 % in cases of saturation.

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Ghysels, Mélanie / Durry, Georges / Amarouche, Nadir / et al: Pico-Light H2O: intercomparison of in situ water vapour measurements during the AsA 2022 campaign. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Mélanie Ghysels et al.

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