Getting prepared for UAV flights over Crete
Published: June 23, 2014, 3:29 p.m.

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After the successful installation of CHARADMexp ground-based instrumentation at Finokalia, we are shifting our efforts towards the UAV flights preparations. According to our schedule, the UAV test flights should start on 25th of June and the first campaign flights are expected to take place between June 27 and July 5. The Unmanned Aerial Research Facility (UARF) of the Cyprus Institute has already arrived in Crete and the first instrument preparations have been performed. In collaboration with the aviation authorities in Heraklion, it has been defined that the area around “Pachia Ammos” is most suited for safe UAV operations.

Pachia Ammos is located at a 30 km distance from Finokalia. We do not expect significant horizontal variability of the aerosol loads between the two sites. This is because the extended area selected for CHARADMexp is mostly affected by natural aerosol sources that are expected to have similar impact at both sites. Moreover, the horizontal distance between Finokalia and Pachia Ammos is not considered large enough for altering aerosol distribution, especially because local aerosol sources are absent in the wider area.

In order to ensure the expected aerosol horizontal homogeneity, we have decided in our first CHARADMexp meeting to operate the EMORAL lidar at Pachia Ammos in order to compare with the PollyXT measurements that are performed at Finokalia on a 24/7 basis. EMORAL will be additionally equipped with a Microtops mobile photometer, and appropriate in-situ instrumentation for aerosol size distribution and concentration measurements. Detailed intercomparison studies between EMORAL vs. PollyXT and Microtops vs. AERONET are currently under progress to ensure the consistency between the instruments.

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CHARADMexp campaign is funded by the European Space Agency.

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CHARADMexp is supported by the BEYOND Centre of Excellence, in the frame of the satellite cal/val activities performed by the Centre. LIVAS climatology as well as the smoke dispersion and dust services provided by BEYOND will be validated through the CHARADMexp campaign.

ACTRIS provides support to CHARADMexp participants by offering access to the Finokalia research facilities through the Transnational Access activity of the Network.