AFWEX: ARM-FIRE Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX)


The ARM/FIRE Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX) was conducted during November-December 2000 near the ARM site in north central Oklahoma and was sponsored jointly by three programs: Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM), the NASA First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) and the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Its primary goal was to collect accurate measurements of upper level (~8 to 12 km) water vapor in the vicinity of the gound based ARM site. These data were used to determine the accuracy of measurements made regularly from the ARM site.

AFWEX consisted of both airborne and ground-based instruments. The main result of AFWEX was to demonstrate that, with careful analysis, a core group of 5 instruments was accurate at the 5% level for the profile of water vapor. These 5 instruments were the airborne NASA LaRC LASE water vapor lidar and Diode Laser Hygrometer (DLH), the ground-based Vaisala RS-80H (after application of corrections for time-lag, temperature and total column water), DOE CART Raman Lidar (CARL) and the NASA/GSFC Scanning Raman Lidar (SRL).

Department of Energy, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program

In addition to the routine ARM observations, other AFWEX participants included a high spectral resolution interferometer (SSEC’s Scanning-HIS) and trace gas insitu sensors (NASA LaRC COAST) flown on the NASA CD-8,, chilled mirror and VIZ radiosondes (NASA WFF), microwave (NAST-M), and high spectral resolution infrared (NAST-I) and far-infrared (FIRSC) interferometers flown on the Proteus aircraft, and satellite observations (GOES)

Tobin, D.C. Overview of the ARM-FIRE Water vapor Experiment (AFWEX). Conference on Atmospheric Radiation, 11th, Ogden Utah, 3-7 June 2002.


Related Websites


  • Analysis and interpretation of AFWEX NAST-I data. In Final report for NASA Langley Research Center Contract NAS1-00070: Engineering and scientific support for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Airborne Sounder Testbed Interferometer (NAST-I) Instrument (tasks 1-7). Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, 2001, section 5-B. UW SSEC Publication No.01.05.E1.

  • DeSlover, Daniel H.; Turner, David D.; Whiteman, David N., and Smith, William L. Ground- and aircraft-based cirrus cloud measurements using lidar and high spectral resolution FTS during the AFWEX 2000 field campaign. Atmospheric Radiation Measurements and Applications in Climate, Seattle, WA, 10-11 July 2002. Bellingham, WA, SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering, 2002, pp1-8. Reprint #3466.

  • Ferrare, R. A.; Browell, E. V.; Ismail, S. ; Koot, S. A.; Brasseur, L. H.; Brackett, V. G.; Clayton, M. B.; Barrick. J. D. W.; Kiskin, G. S.; Goldsmith, J. E. M.; Lesht, B. M.; Podolske, J. R.; Sachse, G. W.; Schmidlin, F. J.; Turner, D. D.; Whiteman, D. N.; Tobin, D.; Miloshevich, L. M.; Revercomb, H. E.; Demoz, B. B., and Di Girolamo, P. Characterization of upper-troposphere water vapor measurements during AFWEX using LASE. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology v.21, no.12, 2004, pp1790-1808. Reprint #4084.

  • Lee, Clare; Evans, K. Franklin; Noh, Ira G.; Smith, William L., and Vanek, Michael D. Far-infrared remote sensing measurements of cirrus clouds during AFWEX. Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere VI, Toulouse, France, 17-20 September 2001. Bellingham, WA, SPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering, 2001, pp26-32. Reprint #4913.

  • Tobin, D. C.; Revercomb, H. E., and Turner, D. D. Overview of the ARM/FIRE Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX). Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Science Team Meeting, 12th, St. Petersburg, FL, 8-12 April 2002. Proceedings. Washington, DC, US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Research, Office of Health and Environmental Research, Environmental Sciences Division, 2002,. Reprint #3598.

  • Tobin, David C.; Revercomb, Henry E., and Turner, David D. Overview of the ARM/FIRE Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX). Conference on Atmospheric Radiation, 11th, Ogden, UT, 3-7 June 2002 (preprints). Boston, MA, American Meteorological Society, 2002, ppPaper 8.6. Reprint #3845.