Brent McBride

Brent McBride
PhD, Atmospheric Physics, Graduate

Cohort Level: Cohort - IV

Career Goal: Instrument or retrieval scientist with a cloud/aerosol focus. NOAA ESRL is a potential location.

Expected Graduation Date: August 31, 2021

Degree: PhD Atmospheric Physics

Research Title: Analysis of Cloud Microphysical Properties using Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter Observations and Model Simulations Imaging Polarimeter Observations and Model Simulations

Research Synopsis: A major link between microphysical and radiative processes in clouds is the droplet size distribution (DSD). Accurate measurements of cloud droplet size and dispersion can help reduce uncertainties related to global radiative forcing, cloud-aerosol interaction, and cloud development. Polarimeters with narrow pixel resolution, wide swath, and observations of the same target from a large set of view angles is best prepared to sample these properties at climate- relevant scales. During this internship period, the student will use measurements from the Airborne Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter (AirHARP) from two NASA field campaigns, the Lake Michigan Ozone Study (LMOS) and Aerosol Characterization from Polarimeter and Lidar (ACEPOL) to study the polarized information reflected by liquid water clouds of different size, location, and height. This information will be used to retrieve droplet size properties, compare to model output, and tie correlations between the properties to cloud phenomena. This internship will give the student exposure to cloud models and comparing model output to observation. This work is highly relevant to recent NOAA missions, such as GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), which may rely on future polarimetric observations to better constrain retrievals of global cloud droplet size and three-dimensional cloud radiative effects.