National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1998

The combined sensor program: An air–sea science mission in the central and western Pacific Ocean

Post, M.J., C.W. Fairall, J.B. Snider, Y. Han, A.B. White, W.L. Ecklund, K.M. Weickmann, P.K. Quinn, D.I. Cooper, S.M. Sekelsky, R.E. McIntosh, P. Minnett, and R.O. Knuteson

Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 78(12), 2797–2815, doi: 10.1175/1520-0477(1997)078<2797:TCSPAA>2.0.CO;2 (1997)

Twelve national research organizations joined forces on a 30-day, 6800 n mi survey of the Central and Tropical Western Pacific on NOAA’s Research Vessel Discoverer. The Combined Sensor Program (CSP), which began in American Samoa on 14 March 1996, visited Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and ended in Hawaii on 13 April, used a unique combination of in situ, satellite, and remote sensors to better understand relationships between atmospheric and oceanic variables that affect radiative balance in this climatically important region. Besides continuously measuring both shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes, CSP instruments also measured most other factors affecting the radiative balance, including profiles of clouds (lidar and radar), aerosols (in situ and lidar), moisture (balloons, lidar, and radiometers), and sea surface temperature (thermometers and Fourier Transform Infrared Radiometers). Surface fluxes of heat, momentum, and moisture were also measured continuously. The Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program used the mission to validate similar measurements made at their CART site on Manus Island and to investigate the effect (if any) of large nearby landmasses on the island-based measurements.

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