Digital Holographic Studies of Cloud and Precipitation Microphysics

A lack of high-resolution observations of clouds and precipitation remains one of the largest
sources of uncertainty in climate and weather models. Such observations are also valuable
in the calibration and validation of remote sensing techniques such as lidar and radar. A low
cost holographic imaging instrument has been developed and field tested to provide realtime
measurements of cloud and precipitation particle number densities, sizes, and shape
metrics. The results of recent field testing in the Australian Snowy Mountains and an
untethered balloon flight of the instrument through cloud over Adelaide will be discussed in
this talk. Key results include height profiles of cloud particle size distributions, images, and
shape metrics, as well as comparisons with the HIMAWARI-8 imaging satellite and a
polarimetric backscatter sonde sensitive to aerosols and cloud particles.

Thomas Chambers is a post-doctoral researcher currently working on the Atom Trap Trace
Analysis project within the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing at the University of
Adelaide (UofA). Prior to this he undertook a PhD (accepted, awaiting conferral) within the
Space and Atmospheric Physics Group at UofA. His research focus is on the application of
optical methods to the understanding of complex systems with a particular interest in
problems within the climate and earth sciences. He has been involved in a range of
international collaborations and field campaigns centred around the understanding of the
role of clouds and precipitation in the climate of Australia, Antarctica, and the Southern
Ocean. He is currently also pursuing the commercialisation of a 3D imaging device for the
automated detection of pollen and other applications.


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