The Campaign

The ASKOS Experimental Campaign of ESA will take place from 15 June until 15 July of 2021 at the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo (OSCM) (Lat: 16.8776, Lon: -24.9953, 41m asl) at the Sao Vicente island of Cape Verde. ASKOS will deploy advanced ground-based remote sensing and surface/airborne in situ instrumentation to provide observations of aerosol, clouds, water vapor and wind. These measurements will be used for the calibration and validation of the Aeolus satellite aerosol, cloud and wind products.

Cape Verde is located about 600 kilometers off the coast of Senegal in the midst of the wide Atlantic Ocean. An archipelago of 15 islands, nine of which are inhabited.

From theoretical studies we expect that the aerosol product of Aeolus will be challenged under the dusty environment of Cape Verde, due to the fact that the ALADIN does not deploy a cross-polarization channel, missing a significant portion of the light backscattered by non-spherical particles such as the desert dust.

The campaign is planned to take place in Cape Verde during the period when dust transport above the area has its yearly maximum. Additionally, during this period, three more experiments will take place in the broader Cape Verde area, deploying sophisticated aircraft instrumentation complementary to ASKOS observations.

Scientific Objectives

  • Evaluate the Aeolus L2A aerosol and cloud product performance for dust/marine aerosols.
  • Estimate the uncertainty in the Aeolus backscatter caused by the undetected cross-polar signal return from non spherical particles.
  • Estimate the impact of particle orientation in Aeolus products for mineral particles and ice crystals.
  • Determine size specific aerosol optical properties: scattering, backscattering, absorption, SSA, extinction.
  • Provide an unprecedented amount of quality assured datasets for evaluating more Aeolus applications (e.g. improvements in desert dust modeling and sea salt emission estimations).
  • Study the ice nucleation due to dust particles and validate the existing parameterizations.
  • Evaluate Aeolus wind measurements with those by aircraft and radiosonde.
  • Study the impact of Aeolus winds on the analysis and forecast of tropical wave disturbances and their associated rainfall and dust fields.