The MAGIC2019 campaign
The MAGIC2019 campaign takes place between 11-21 June 2019. It involves 7 laboratories (LMD, LSCE, GSMA, LOA, LERMA, LPC2E, OPGC), CNES and SAFIRE.
The tentative flight plan and instrument deployment for the central day is depicted on the figure. SAFIRE Falcon20 will perform profiles at 4 locations: Aire-sur-l’Adour, Trainou, Puy-de-Dôme and over the Atlantic Ocean, in order to get vertical profiles of CO2, CH4 and CO, as well as temperature and humidity. Meteorological balloons equipped with AirCore air samplers are launched at the land stations. Additional balloons equipped with the Amulse laser-diode spectrometers are launched at Aire-sur-l’Adour. Finally, 5 portable Fourier Transform Spectrometers (EM27/sun and CHRIS) are deployed on the ground.
A specific objective for this campaign is the validation of 2 space-borne instruments: IASI launched in November 2018 onboard Metop-C and TROPOMI launched in October 2017 onboard Sentinel-5P.
This campaign is funded by CNES, CNRS as well as EUMETSAT (in the context on the cal/val activities of Metop-C) and ESA (in the context of the cal/val activities of Sentinel-5P).
Tuesday 11 June
Many clouds this week!
Teams at each location are preparing for better weather. The latest tests of SAFIRE’s Falcon20 instruments are being conducted. Everything is ready !
Wednesday 12 June
On the Trainou side, preparations for the launches of three of AirCore, atmospheric samplers under weather balloons, are made. No fewer than 5 European and one American teams are gathered to make comparisons between these instruments in the framework of the European project RINGO.
Thursday 13 June
Today is the first flight of SAFIRE Falcon20, the release of meteorological balloons at CNES balloon station at Aire-sur-l’Adour (ASA) and the measurements of several Fourier transform spectrometers: EM27 / SUN operated by CNES and CHRIS from LOA.
The day is devoted to intensive measurements around ASA: 3h30 flight in a radius of 15 knots around the station, with 4 ascents / descents of the Falcon20 between 0 and 11 km altitude. Objective: to measure the spatiotemporal variability of temperature, humidity, CO2, CH4 and CO profiles.
The Falcon is equipped with 2 Picarro analyzers and the LPC2E SPIRIT instrument for measuring CO2, CH4, CO and NO2.
A lidar cloud / aerosol completes the on-board instrumentation … and allows a rare view: the landscape going by under the plane through the ground porthole located at the front of the plane!
Simultaneously, 3 LMD AirCores, 2 GSMA Amulses and 3 Radiosondes are released under meteoroligcal balloons by CNES teams at ASA. The hunt for the payloads by the integrated team CNES-GSMA-LMD is launched! The goal: to bring the AirCores back to ASA in less than 3 hours to quickly analyze the air captured by the instruments.
Meanwhile, an Amulse makes his … hanging on top of a tree!
In the end, a busy day but an extemely successful one, with 100% of the measurements performed, a perfect coordination between the teams and a lot of good mood!
Friday 14 June
A detour on the side of Plaimpied-Givaudins near Bourges where a team from LMD operates one of the two EM27 / SUN of the LSCE since Wednesday. The team settles comfortably in the morning.
The first cirrus of the day let glimpse a blue sky … but the sky is covered in the afternoon and the measures must be interrupted.
This gives the opportunity to visit the evening Saint-Etienne Cathedral of Bourges built between the late twelfth and the end of the thirteenth century.
Saturday 15 June
Definitely many clouds in this month of June, and too strong winds that carry the balloons too far or in unauthorized areas … The hour is at the assessment of these first days. The harvest of data is already excellent and the team keeps smiling!
Sunday 16 June
Close-up today on measures at the CO-PDD, with the KIT EM27/SUN operated by the LERMA team from the roof of the OPGC in Aubière. A beautiful view of the Puy de Dome!
The EM27 / SUN is a portable Fourier transform spectrometer, equipped with a camera-controlled heliostat that will send solar radiation back into the spectrometer with constant direction. Its spectral resolution of 0.5 cm-1 makes it possible to resolve the lines of the minority compounds of the atmosphere and to deduce their average concentrations in the atmosphere.
Monday 17 June
Today sees the first simultaneous launches of meteorological balloons from our 3 launching sites: ASA (2 Amulse and 1 AirCore), TRN (6 AirCores, 3 at a time) and CO-PDD (1 AirCore).
It is also the first flight on the newly designed GSMA CH4/H2O Amulse that is launched together with the CO2/CH4 version of the instrument for validation. Welcome to the new member of the family!
In the end a very bucolic day with the recovery of the payloads in forests, vineyeard, wheat and rape fields…
Tuesday 18 June
Today is ‘the’ MAGIC day with all sites connected by the ‘Tour de France’ flight of SAFIRE Falcon20. All teams are engaged in a tour de force: making coordinated measurements between Falcon20 profiling, balloon launches, column measurements from the ground and satellite overpasses!!
The first balloon launch is made at 7:30 at ASA: an AirCore scheduled to make its descend about 2 hours later when the Falcon20 arrives.
Falcon20 take-off happens at 8:45 at Francazal towards ASA. A few clouds on the way that disperse progressively. And it is the first profiling of the day 4km-50m-11km! At 11km, 2 dropsondes are realeased from the Falcon20 to measure thermodynamic profiles below the aircraft.
At 9:30, an Amulse is launched from ASA to make simultaneous measurements of CO2 concentration. Launches of 2 AirCores and 1 Amulse are then made at 11:15 and 14:00 to measure atmospheric profiles of CO2, CH4, temperature and humidity at the overpass time of Metop-C and Sentinel-5P.
During this time, the Falcon20 continues its course towards the ocean and leaves the land over Arcachon. A beautiful view of the Dune du Pilat… And here goes another spirale from 11 km down to 100m over the ocean! And 4 new dropsondes are realeased.
It is time to head towards Trainou near Orléans. A 30′ flight that gives ample time to prepare the next release of dropsondes, by turning them on… and assuring that SAFIRE contact information is well written on the dropsondes in case someone finds them.
Over Trainou, the clouds clear out again and allow us to make a new descending spirale over the military base of Bricy. A great thanks to them for allowing us to perform our scientific flight there.
Next, is the stop at Chateauroux airport to refuel… both the aircraft and the crew!
During this stopover, 2 AirCores are launched at the station of CO-PDD in preparation for the arrival of Falcon20 2 hours laters.
At Chateauroux, after 1 hour and a half break, engines start again, and here we go for our second profiling spirale of the day over Bricy, before heading towards Clermont-Ferrand. The sky is unfortunately fully overcast, but a hole in the sky illuminates the view on the Puy-de-Dôme and the Chaîne des Puys. After the release of 4 dropsondes, the Falcon20 leaves the area, direction ASA to complete the Tour de France.
And then, an unexpected event happens: we are ‘escorted’ by a Rafale. During a full 8 minutes, both aircrafts fly side-by-side with a lot of waving, taking pictures… and forgetting about the onboard instruments.
After a final good-bye through a ‘wing-flapping’, the military aircraft leaves the Falcon which arrives 10 mn later at the ASA station, at the exact time the final balloon of the day is released.
Time for a final profiling spirale and the release of 4 last dropondes at the 4 compass points around the station, the Falcon20 goes home and lands at 16:45.
Meanwhile, the teams located at ASA, TRN and CO-PDD keep hunting the last AirCores and Amulses of the day.
All in all, the day has been extremely successful with a full Tour de France, a perfect timing between aircraft, balloons and satellite measurements, 26 dropsondes released from the Falcon20, 14 meteorological balloons launched and more than one thousand spectra recorded by ground-based FTS!! A MAGICal day, indeed!!
Wednesday 19 June
The launches of AirCore and Amulse continue at the 3 sites.
Meanwhile, ground-based measurements continue. At ASA, both EM27/SUN from CNES and CHRIS form LOA are deployed.
And near Bourges, a new LMD team arrives to take over the measurements during a sunny morning… that does not last in the afternoon.
Thursday 20 June
Ballon launches continue at the three sites. In particular from the roof of OPGC near Clermont-Ferrand. The recovery is full of suprises… with a recovery in the middle of brambles!
Friday 21 June
The last day is fully overcast and the MAGIC2019 campaign is thus over.
In total, 11 hours of flight with SAFIRE Falcon20 from which 26 dropsondes have been released; 53 launches of meteorological balloons carrying AirCore and Amulse; more than a thousand spectra measured by ground-based FTS; time-colocation with 4 satellites; more than 50 participants … The numbers speak for themselves.
This year was rather cloudy, even stormy, with last-minute surprises… It was also extremely bucolic (with recoveries of the balloons in the vineyards, the forests, the brambles, the fields of wheat or rapeseed); 100% of the measurements were made; and always one very good atmosphere and a remarkable friendliness that make these campaigns of moments of discovery and exciting exchanges.
Congratulations to all the teams involved in the campaign!