Project IceBALL

10 October 2022 - 31 October 2022

Lead Scientist: Jerry Harrington

Observatory: sgp, sgp

The goal of this field campaign is to use a new balloon-borne ice crystal sampling system to collect in situ cirrus ice crystals during a three-week (March 28−April 18, 2021) field study at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) observatory. The balloon-borne system (Ice Cryo-Encapsulation by Balloon, ICE-Ball) provides measures of the ambient temperature, water vapor mixing ratio, and ice crystal concentration, along with direct sampling of the ice crystals. The ice crystal samples are stored in liquid nitrogen for transport back to the lab. The habit, surface characteristics, and complexity, along with surface aerosol and total aerosol residual composition, will be determined using electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. Prior measurements with the instrument have shown unprecedented detail of crystal surface features, and complex habit forms at small crystal sizes. To put the in situ measurements into a dynamical context, KAZR data collected continuously at the SGP site will be used to extract estimates of the vertical air motions associated with the cirrus. The combined ice microphysical, aerosol, and KAZR-derived vertical motions can be used to inform numerical modeling of the cirrus clouds.


Nathan Magee



Harrington JY and N Magee. 2023. Ice Cryo-Encapsulation Balloon (Project ICEBall) Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-23-021. 10.2172/1974397.

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