The radiative effects of inhomogeneous cirrus fields will be studied by a combination of airborne measurements (radiation and microphysical properties), a three – dimensional radiative transfer model and a dynamic cloud – resolving cirrus model in the framework of the AIRTOSS (AIRcraft TOwed Sensor Shuttle) – Project in cooperation with the University of Mainz and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz. An instrumented aircraft (Lear-Jet) will sample spectral radiation above cirrus within a field campaign. From these data the microphysical cirrus properties will be retrieved and compared to simultaneous in situ measurements collected with the AIRTOSS, released on a 4-km long towing cable underneath the plane. In close collocation the spatial inhomogeneities of the sampled cirrus fields will be observed by an imaging digital CCD camera. In parallel, a cloud – resolving model will simulate microphysical cirrus fields. The combined in situ measured and retrieved microphysical cirrus fields as well as the simulated microphysical cirrus fields will be used as input to a 3D radiative transfer model to investigate the radiative effects of spatially inhomogeneous cirrus. Two field campaigns will take place in spring and autumn 2013 above the North Sea.

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