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A lightweight balloon-carried cloud charge sensor

Harrison, R. G. and Nicoll, K. A. (2009) A lightweight balloon-carried cloud charge sensor. Review of Scientific Instruments, 80 (1). 014501. ISSN 0034-6748

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1063/1.3065090


Despite the importance of microphysical cloud processes on the climate system, some topics are under-explored. For example, few measurements of droplet charges in nonthunderstorm clouds exist. Balloon carried charge sensors can be used to provide new measurements. A charge sensor is described for use with meteorological balloons, which has been tested over a range of atmospheric temperatures from -60 to 20 degrees C, in cloudy and clear air. The rapid time response of the sensor (to >10 V s(-1)) permits charge densities from 100 fC m(-3) to 1 nC m(-3) to be determined, which is sufficient for it to act as a cloud edge charge detector at weakly charged horizontal cloud boundaries.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:1933
Uncontrolled Keywords:atmospheric electricity; atmospheric humidity; atmospheric temperature; balloons; clouds

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