Grand-Scale Atmospheric Imaging Apparatus (GAIA) and Wind Lidar Multiscale Measurements in the Atmospheric Surface Layer

Giacomo Valerio Iungo, Michele Guala, Jiarong Hong, Nathaniel Bristow, Matteo Puccioni, Peter Hartford, Roozbeh Ehsani, Stefano Letizia, Jiaqi Li, Coleman Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the organization and dynamics of turbulence structures in the atmospheric surface layer (ASL) is important for fundamental and applied research in different fields, including weather prediction, snow settling, particle and pollutant transport, and wind energy. The main challenges associated with probing and modeling turbulence in the ASL are (i) the broad range of turbulent scales associated with the different eddies present in high Reynolds number boundary layers ranging from the viscous scale (on the order of millimeters) up to large energy-containing structures (on the order of kilometers); (ii) the nonstationarity of the wind conditions and the variability associated with the daily cycle of the atmospheric stability; and (iii) the interactions among eddies of different sizes populating different layers of the ASL, which contribute to momentum, energy, and scalar turbulent fluxes. Creative and innovative measurement techniques are required to probe near-surface turbulence by generating spatiotemporally resolved data in the proximity of the ground and, at the same time, covering the entire ASL height with large enough streamwise extent to characterize the dynamics of larger eddies evolving aloft. To this aim, the U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored the development of the Grand-scale Atmospheric Imaging Apparatus (GAIA) enabling super-large snow particle image velocimetry (SLPIV) in the near-surface region of the ASL. This inaugural version of GAIA provides a comprehensive measuring system by coupling SLPIV and two scanning Doppler lidars to probe the ASL at an unprecedented resolution. A field campaign performed in 2021–22 and its preliminary results are presented herein elucidating new research opportunities enabled by the GAIA measuring system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E121-E143
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

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  • Boundary layer
  • In situ atmospheric observations
  • Instrumentation/ sensors
  • Measurements
  • Remote sensing
  • Snow

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