Instrument development

Airborne measurements are crucial to understanding the atmosphere, improving models and validating satellite observations. The Met Office provides a range of specialist instruments that supplement the core suite maintained by FAAM and other specialist systems provided by university-based teams.

The Instrumentation group within  Observation Based Research maintains and develops this Met office instrumentation. The instruments cover a wide range of measurements including in-situ probes and inlets, active and passive remote sensing. New instruments are developed or existing instruments upgraded as the scientific requirement changes or as new technology provides an improved instrument performance.

Key aims

  • Maintenance of Met Office airborne instrumentation
  • Development of new instrumentation and technologies
  • Provision of high quality atmospheric data
  • Operation of instruments during flight campaigns

Current projects

  • ISMAR - a novel submillimeter radiometer for the measurement of cirrus, mixed phase clouds, precipitation and snow emissivity.
  • Ice Nucleus Counter - a continuous-flow diffusion chamber to measure ice nucleating aerosol.
  • EXSCALABAR (ongoing) - development of a new custom-built aircraft instrument for in situ characterisation of aerosol optical properties using multi-wavelength cavity ringdown and photoacoustic spectroscopies. It will provide high quality measurements needed to test the representation of absorbing aerosol in Met Office climate models.