25th Symposium on Meteorological Observation and Instrumentation

Abstract Information

Abstracts are due by 15 August 2024 at 5:00 PM ET

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Abstract Fee and Author Instructions
All presenters must also register for the meeting.

The 25th Symposium on Meteorological Observation and Instrumentation is sponsored by the American Meteorological Society and organized by the AMS Committee on Measurements.

Call for Papers

  • Advancements in Ground-based, Airborne, and Satellite Remote Sensing of Aerosols: Retrieval, Validation, and Applications

The largest uncertainty in estimating anthropogenic climate radiative forcing is caused by inaccurate assessment of radiative forcing due to aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions. Additionally, our level of scientific understanding (LOSU) for these interactions remained low or very low in all previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. Multiple factors, including observational limitations and equifinality in climate models, have led to these persistent uncertainties in assessing the aerosol radiative forcing from pre-industrial to present times. In this session, we invite novel research work on the application of ground-based, airborne and satellite remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols, in particular, addressing and reducing instrumental uncertainties in observing aerosol characteristics such as aerosol optical depth (AOD), Angstrom exponent, surface albedo, and relevant aerosol products. Key research work dealing with high resolution measurements using ground-based networks such as Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and satellite instruments such as MODerate resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Imager, and Multiangle Imaging Spectro Radiometer (MISR) are solicited for this session. Satellite observations are particularly important, as they offer truly global constraints for climate models and air quality applications. Aerosol-cloud (indirect) and aerosol-radiation (direct) interactions generate intricate feedback processes that affect both meteorological phenomena and aerosol features. Oftentimes, it remains challenging to distinguish between natural aerosol variability (“signal”) and errors in remote sensing (“noise”) arising due to multi-scale (both temporal and spatial) atmospheric dynamics. Innovative approaches to accurately capture the heterogeneities in aerosol regimes across varying surface types, weather, and climate conditions are considered valuable. We welcome research contributions from multiple fields working at the intersection of weather, climate, and remote sensing that propose novel strategies to enhance the quality of aerosol observations and improve aerosol retrieval algorithms and measurements. Contributions that offer new approaches for managing and refining aerosol records for weather forecasting and climate models are also encouraged.

  • Advances in Airborne Instrumentation and Measurement Technology in the Atmospheric Sciences

Many exciting developments in the field of airborne sciences are occurring, resulting in new instrumentation, methods, and other applications that bring new capabilities to airborne platforms. Field deployable airborne instrumentation includes a wide range of new and emerging technologies from in-situ probes and remote sensors to passive methods. The goal of this session is to highlight these new advancements and bring together instrument developers and scientists to share new and innovative approaches for future field deployments. We invite submissions on the development or application of instrumentation for the measurement of state parameters, cloud microphysics, radiation, trace gases, aerosols, and meteorology. Results from recent airborne field tests or campaigns are also solicited in order to highlight the usage of these instruments.

  • Advances in Instruments, Deployments, and Services of Mesonets and Micronets

This session is structured to showcase new sensors, observation methods, and data application related to mesonet and micronet systems. Advancements include broadening sensing capabilities to support health monitoring (such as heat index), vertical profiling abilities, snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements, and other distinctive sensing techniques. The primary objective of this session is to emphasize innovative products from both new and established network systems.

  • Findings from Latest Field Projects

Data gathered from measurements during field projects play a crucial role in comprehending historical, current, and future weather and climate patterns. The information derived from that data frequently provides an initial insight into phenomena that were previously unexplored or misinterpreted. This session will concentrate on the findings of recent field projects that employed diverse observation platforms and methodologies. The discussion will encompass initial results, examination and critique of field project strategies, and progress made after the conclusion of the project.

  • Frontiers in Measurement of Fire Weather and Wildfires

The frequency, size, and severity of wildfires globally, particularly at the wildland-urban interface, are on the rise. These wildfires pose significant risks to the ecosystems, processes, and lives in the areas they affect. As these events persist, the importance of measuring variables before, during, and after fire events will grow.
This session will concentrate on new methods of measuring fire weather, wildfires, and post-fire areas. It will include discussions on observational strategies, innovative techniques, and the latest findings from field programs.

  • Innovative Technological Advances for Mesoscale Observing Systems

This session will focus on promising, new sensor and observing technologies, as well as improvements to current operational systems, that hold great potential to advance mesoscale observing systems and are mission-effective, integrated, adaptable, and affordable. In-situ observations of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and troposphere, on the mesoscale specifically, serve as critical inputs for operational and research weather models for both the weather and water enterprise. Observing system experiments have shown that enhanced observational density in space and time improves mesoscale forecasts. There is a relative scarcity of high-resolution surface and PBL mesoscale observations, which impedes advancements in prediction skill of high-impact and disruptive weather events. Presentations should focus on emerging, innovative technologies and current technology improvements that hold the potential to improve the accuracy, reliability, spatial coverage, cost effectiveness, deployability, safety, and sustainability of mesoscale observations for eventual use by the operational weather and water enterprise including NOAA, the National Mesonet Program, the private sector, and other government sectors. The scope of this session includes weather- and water-related observations from the surface through the troposphere, with emphasis on the PBL, including in-situ surface, profiling, balloon-borne, radar, and airborne and uncrewed systems technologies. Satellite-based sensors are not included in this scope except to calibrate, validate, or integrate with in-situ observations as a secondary objective.  New technologies from the commercial sector and unique observations of opportunity are welcome. 

  • Innovative Tropical Cyclone Observing Systems and Technologies

The purpose of this session is to showcase innovative observation systems and technologies, including but not limited to, airborne, high-altitude balloon, and uncrewed systems technologies, specifically designed for tropical cyclones (TCs). These technologies are mission-effective, integrated, adaptable, and affordable.
Over the past few decades, there have been significant efforts to improve the quality and quantity of in-situ TC observations. These observations, especially those in the tropical cyclone boundary layer (TCBL), not only enhance our understanding of the physical processes at the air-sea interface but also serve as crucial inputs for operational forecast models.
Observations of the upper atmosphere and the surrounding environment also contribute significantly to advancing our knowledge and forecasting abilities of these tropical systems. Given the relative lack of high-resolution TCBL observations, which hampers progress in making skillful predictions of TCs, presentations should focus on innovative technologies that can enhance the accuracy, reliability, spatial coverage, cost-effectiveness, deployability, safety, and sustainability of TCBL and high-altitude observations.
These observations are intended for eventual use by operational forecast and research TC models. We welcome abstract submissions that highlight airborne, balloon, and uncrewed systems technologies in relation to TC observation. Satellite-based sensors are not the primary focus of this session, except for calibration, validation, or integration with in-situ observations as a secondary objective.

  • Integrated Measurement Systems for Informing Operations and Decision Making, Including Extreme Events

Making informed decisions is crucial for preparedness and safety in weather and climate-related activities. The need to monitor and manage natural resources, such as precipitation/water, and extreme weather events, has underscored the importance of precise atmospheric measurements, which have significant implications for operations and decision-making.
Well-defined integrated measurement systems and data analysis tools can support the decision-making process for weather forecasters and operations managers. This session will explore the available measurement systems that can guide operations and decision-making, including the designs of these systems and results from their deployments.

  • Integrating Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) into Meteorology

The capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) platforms, as well as in-situ and remote sensing capabilities on UAS, are continually evolving as their measurement accuracy is validated and enhanced. This session will cover topics that highlight the most recent advancements in UAS sensing capabilities and findings from recent UAS research. We also encourage submissions from studies that emphasize measurement validations and quality control.

  • Intercomparison, Calibration, and Uncertainties of Instrumentation

Bring leaders from multiple fields of practice together to further the innovation of instrument solutions within meteorology applications, as well as to establish confidence in knowing that accurate data and measurements can lead to quicker, immediate decision-making in communities.

  • Low-Cost Sensors and Imagers

In recent times, there has been an unparalleled surge in the availability of affordable and miniaturized environmental sensors. These encompass in-situ sensors that can measure atmospheric state variables, rain gauges, probes for soil moisture and temperature, and air quality sensors for both particulates and gases. There are also remote sensors, including infrared sensors for monitoring sky temperature, mini spectrometers, and multispectral and thermal imagers. While these mini spectrometers and imagers are more expensive compared to in-situ sensors, they are still more affordable than their counterparts in laboratories, aircraft, or satellites.
Generally, low-cost sensors are less accurate than research-grade equipment, but their advantage lies in the ability to deploy them in large quantities. The high spatial information content derived from such dense sensor networks can be leveraged for research and operational purposes by integrating it with sparse resolution, high-accuracy observations. Dense, low-cost sensor networks can also complement satellite observations. An example of this is using satellite observations to infer surface air quality, which depends on statistical correlations between surface air quality observations and satellite-retrieved aerosol column loading. The compact size of low-cost sensors also enables them to be mounted on Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS). On UAS platforms, low-cost sensors facilitate the profiling of boundary layers. Imagers on UAS platforms can be used for both terrestrial imaging and studying severe storm structures.
To effectively employ low-cost sensors and imagers as described above, it is essential to: 1) understand and document the performance characteristics of low-cost sensors and imagers; 2) identify the types of research problems and operational tasks where the use of such sensors is suitable, given their performance constraints, and develop protocols for their calibration and deployment; and 3) devise methodologies that integrate observations from high-density low-cost sensor networks with other data sources. This session will focus on ongoing research on these topics.

  • Multi-instrument Observations of the Planetary Boundary Layer

The planetary boundary layer (PBL) is characterized by rapid changes in temperature, humidity, and wind speed, and is where we experiment the weather. Surface processes such as turbulence and friction affect the PBL, which in turn modulate convective development and momentum transport, thus affecting the coupling between the surface and the free troposphere. Hence, understanding the dynamics and physics of the PBL is critical for a range of applications, including weather, air quality, and climate. In this regard, novel instrumentation and novel methods of combining existing instruments have helped advance our understanding of the PBL processes. This session invites presentations that report on these latest advances, including but not limited to: advances in (1) in-situ measurements with balloons and aircraft, (2) remote sensing with radar, lidar and radiometers, (3) ground-based measurements with sonic anemometers and flux towers, (4) the combination of multiple observation platforms, and (5) routine and field campaign based observations of PBL processes and associated land-atmosphere feedback processes over drylands. The session will cover a range of topics, including PBL height and variability, turbulent fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum, observations in different PBL environments, and the interactions between the PBL and the free atmosphere. The aim is to promote a discussion on the challenges and opportunities in PBL measurements, such as the need for high-resolution measurements over heterogeneous terrain and the development of new measurement techniques for measuring vertical profiles of PBL properties.

  • Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere

Remote sensing offers the potential to broaden the spatial coverage of measurements, surpassing the capabilities of many in-situ networks. Various methods, such as radar, lidar, and satellite-based systems, are consistently employed for the observation and surveillance of the Earth and its atmosphere. This session will delve into all facets of atmospheric remote sensing, encompassing specific methodologies, innovative measurements, and results.

  • Techniques and Software for Data Fusion and Analytics

In the last two decades, earth-atmosphere system sensors and models have generated unprecedented amounts of observations and data. However, these observations and datasets have drastically different spatial and temporal characteristics. Novel data fusion and analysis methodologies and software systems are essential for realizing the full potential of earth-atmosphere observations and model datasets for basic research and applications. Recent advances in computing have led to petabytes of earth-atmosphere system observations hosted on platforms such as Google Earth Engine that provide both access and cloud computing analysis capabilities. Observations collected by other agencies, and citizen science activities are also available from disparate cloud-accessible sources. This session solicits papers that utilize statistical, machine learning, and physical modeling to fuse and analyze observations and model datasets in support of basic research and decision-making. Software systems that enable such methodologies, especially those adopting open science principles, are also of interest.

Joint Sessions

  • Advances in Micrometeorological Measurements of Trace Gas Fluxes (27th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry)

Accurate measurements of trace gasses, such as nitrous oxide, methane, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are increasingly important for a broad range of research and operation applications ranging from determining the transport and fate of agricultural emissions to predicting the impact of a changing climate. Nonetheless, collecting in-situ measurements of trace gas fluxes via eddy covariance, relaxed eddy accumulation, and other micrometeorological approaches remains challenging. This session will assess the state of the art of trace gas flux measurements by considering both recent advances in instrumentation and post-processing methods and their practical application in the field.

  • Integration of Observational Data in Forecasting and Numerical Weather Prediction Simulations (33rd Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting (WAF)/29th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP))

This joint session topic is focused on the integration of additional observational data (i.e. ground-based measurements, remote sensing, UAS, etc) in forecasting and numerical weather prediction (NWP) simulations. Instrumentation advancements have increased capabilities for enhanced observations and the ability for deployment in targeted field campaigns. Recent work has been done to assimilate these additional observations into NWP simulations. This session is to highlight those recent works and aims to share information on the benefits/pitfalls of integrating additional data, impacts to forecasting decisions, and comparisons of simulations with and without additional data.

  • Marine Fog Field Campaigns, Including Fatima (24th Conference on Air-Sea Interaction)

This session is calling for abstract submissions based on original studies that focus  on marine fog physical and dynamical conditions. Abstracts focused on  observations, new and current technologies (TBS, UAVs), novel methods (e.g., AI applications and ML), and remote sensing of fog are welcome.
Marine fog forecasting based on numerical modeling and observations are critical for transportation safety, ecosystems health, climate-change impacts, free- scale optical communications and directed energy applications. Researchers in the past have improved our basic understanding of the fog formation, development, and dissipation (i.e., lifecycle) with available limited instruments and numerical capabilities. Issues related to nucleation, chemical properties, microphysical processes and their interaction with dynamical processes such as turbulence, eddies, and fluxes, however, have not been studied in detail. Ocean currents and atmospheric synoptic weather systems, sea surface temperature gradients, oceanic lateral and vertical mixing, atmospheric turbulence, thermodynamic parameters, numerous aerosol sources are some of the contributors to the lifecycle of marine fog. Recently, development of novel instruments and platforms have enabled detailed investigations into bio-geo-chemo-physical attributes of fog. In particular, the project FATIMA (Fog and Turbulence in Marine Atmosphere), funded by the Office of Naval Research, deployed state-of-the-art remote sensing, profiling and in-situ instrumentation to observe marine fog using multi-type of platforms – an instrumented research vessel, an ocean (oil) platform and a mid-ocean island. The experimental domain was the Grand Banks area in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, off Nova Scotia, Canada that is known for high fog occurrence (40-50%) during the summer. 

  • Soil Moisture Observations from Measurement to Applications (29th Conference of Applied Climatology)

Soil moisture is an essential climate that is increasing being incorporated into in-situ networks and satellite platforms due to its value in hydrological (i.e., droughts and floods) and vegetation health (i.e., agricultural production, wildfire risk) monitoring. As soil moisture data becomes more widely available, the challenges associated with monitoring and combining soil moisture datasets will become more apparent. These include disparities in observation depth among in-situ networks and remotely sensed data (surface conditions only), heterogeneity of the soil, and differences in the sensing technology, quality control, and period of record among others.  This session is interested in presentations that focus on resolving such challenges as well as useful applications that promote the wider spread adoption and use of soil moisture information.

  • Aerosol-cloud Interactions: In-situ Measurement Challenges (17th Symposium on Aerosol Cloud Climate Interactions)

Significant progress has been made in the understanding of basic physical mechanisms of aerosol–cloud interactions which has resulted in a reduction in the uncertainty in climate forcing. Studying these physical mechanisms requires detailed information on the size, shape, mass, and optical properties of individual aerosol and cloud particles and their bulk properties over a broad range of atmospheric conditions. Over the last few decades, instrumentation and sensing platforms have evolved, providing increasingly more accurate and larger quantities of data about aerosol and cloud particle properties. This session focuses on  (1) the current status of aerosol and cloud in-situ measurement systems, their strengths and weaknesses and their limitations and uncertainties; (2) the outstanding challenges in in-situ measurement systems that need to be overcome to close gaps in understanding of aerosol and cloud processes; (3) recommendations for moving forward through instrument development programs, laboratory and field campaigns, and new technologies. 

Student Award Opportunities

Student Presenter Travel Allowance

The 25th Symposium on Meteorological Observation and Instrumentation is awarding one (1) travel grant of $1,000 to allow student presenters to attend the AMS 105th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA 12-16 January 2025. To apply, students (Undergraduate and Post-Graduate) should prepare a short written statement (no more than one page) declaring their financial need and circumstance, relevance of their research to the conference, how they will benefit from attending the conference and a copy of their abstract for the meeting. Students who wish to apply must submit their application to the program chairs via email with the subject line “AMS 105th Annual Meeting - Student Presenter Travel Allowance Application”:  Sasha Ivans ([email protected]) and Michelle Spencer ([email protected])


Deadline for applications: 1 November 2024

Recipients will be notified on or before: 15 November 2024

Conference Contacts

For additional information, please contact the program chairs: Sasha Ivans ([email protected]) and Michelle Spencer ([email protected])