Kick-off ORCESTRA with a dry run

Kick-off ORCESTRA with a dry run#

In eight sessions over the first weeks of 2024 a bunch of scientists across Europe and the United States met virtually. Atmospheric people faced oceanographic people, familiar faces greeted new faces, a new community was kicked-off: The ORCESTRA community.

ORCESTRA - short for Organized Convection and EarthCare Studies over the Tropical Atlantic - is the superordinate field campaign taking place over and across the Atlantic Ocean in August and September 2024. With currently two planes and one ship, measurements and analysis are undertaken to advance the understanding of tropical meteorology, atmospheric processes and air-sea interaction. Moreover, ORCESTRA contributes with an additional plane to the calibration and validation of satellite remote sensing, especially EarthCARE which shall be launched in May 2024.

Under the roof of ORCESTRA, seven sub-campaigns, three in the air, one on land and three at sea, will come together to enhance the science of tropical mesoscale convective systems (MCS), including the interaction of MCS with tropical waves and air-sea interaction, and the impact of MCS on climate and the Earth’s radiation budget and processes of tropical cyclogenesis. ORCESTRA built up on the GATE campaign, the Global Atmospheric Research Program’s Atlantic Tropical Experiment, which happened 50 years earlier in the exact same area and did investigate the effects of smaller-scale tropical weather systems, such as cloud clusters, on larger scale motions.

During the dry run, questions regarding how to do science within technical constraints, how to adapt along the orbit of a satellite and how to coordinate across platforms were tackled. First flight patterns were simulated based on past data and satellite images, the ship track was tuned and useful data tools and data scripts were shared.

We not only had insights into objectives of individual sub campaigns, likewise, did we learn about tools like AERIS, TOOCAN, MISVA, GOES and pyorcestra which will support us while preparing and operating the campaign.

Luckily, some doubts about coordinating across platforms were cleared up and the operation of ORCESTRA is becoming more real.

The dry run warmed us up and we are set with eagerness and enthusiasm for take-off!

Group photo showing some participants of the dry run.

Fig. 6 Group photo.#