Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Skip to content

First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX) NASA ER-2 Cloud Lidar System Data

Metadata Updated: March 28, 2024

The First ISCCP Regional Experiments have been designed to improve data products and cloud/radiation parameterizations used in general circulation models (GCMs). Specifically, the goals of FIRE are (1) to improve the basic understanding of the interaction of physical processes in determining life cycles of cirrus and marine stratocumulus systems and the radiative properties of these clouds during their life cycles and (2) to investigate the interrelationships between the ISCCP data, GCM parameterizations, and higher space and time resolution cloud data. To-date, four intensive field-observation periods were planned and executed: a cirrus IFO (October 13 - November 2, 1986); a marine stratocumulus IFO off the southwestern coast of California (June 29 - July 20, 1987); a second cirrus IFO in southeastern Kansas (November 13 - December 7, 1991); and a second marine stratocumulus IFO in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean (June 1 - June 28, 1992). Each mission combined coordinated satellite, airborne, and surface observations with modeling studies to investigate the cloud properties and physical processes of the cloud systems. The development of parameterizations requires an understanding of the processes that generate, maintain, and dissipate boundary layer clouds. This development is currently impeded by lack of understanding of the transition from stratocumulus clouds to trade cumulus clouds and the factors that control cloud type and amount in the boundary layer. ASTEX was designed to address key issues related to stratocumulus to trade cumulus transition and mode selection. ASTEX involved intensive measurements from several platforms operating from June 1-28, 1992 in the area of the Azores and Madeira Islands. The purpose was to study how the transition and mode selection are effected by 1) cloud-top entrainment instability, 2) diurnal decoupling and clearing due to solar absorption, 3) patchy drizzle and a transition to horizontally inhomogeneous clouds through decoupling, 4) mesoscale variability in cloud thickness and associated mesoscale circulations, and 5) episodic strong subsidence lowering the inversion below the LCL. Detailed descriptions of the scientific goals of ASTEX are in the FIRE Phase II: Research plan (1989) and in the ASTEX Operations Plan (1992). The Cloud Lidar System (CLS) instrument was flown aboard the NASA ER-2 airplane. This instrument was used to determine cloud altitudes. Information pertaining to the number of cloud layers detected; the heights of the boundaries for up to 5 cloud layers; geo-physical location information; and time were recorded.Four channels of data were recorded. The first channel recorded wave lengths at 532 nanometers in the parallel plane. The second channel recorded wave lengths of 532 nanometers in the perpendicular plane. The third channel recorded wavelengths of 1064 nanometers total. The forth channel was a linear amplifier which received the digitized signal from one of the three previously mentioned CLS detectors. The data are organized so that there is a single header record for the file. This header record is followed by a series of pairs of records. The first record of each pair contains the CLS calibrated data and the second record of the pair contains the CLS analyzed data.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date March 28, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date March 28, 2024
Identifier C1000000994-LARC_ASDC
Data First Published 2000-03-16
Language en-US
Data Last Modified 2018-07-06
Category FIRE, geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Citation 2000-04-07. Archived by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Government, NASA/LARC/SD/ASDC.
Harvest Object Id e975d3b8-5582-463e-8a34-4f78de9594d1
Harvest Source Id 58f92550-7a01-4f00-b1b2-8dc953bd598f
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Homepage URL
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><gml:Polygon xmlns:gml="" srsName="EPSG:4326"><gml:outerBoundaryIs><gml:LinearRing><gml:posList>30.55 -27.54 30.55 -15.41 39.91 -15.41 39.91 -27.54 30.55 -27.54</gml:posList></gml:LinearRing></gml:outerBoundaryIs><gml:innerBoundaryIs></gml:innerBoundaryIs></gml:Polygon>
Program Code 026:001
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 21c5852c5ec4e259a57ca092feab31b5f0a4d84fb673395216d6a28457b72935
Source Schema Version 1.1
Temporal 1992-06-02T00:00:00Z/1992-06-23T23:59:59.999Z

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.