The composition of the atmosphere, the stratospheric ozone layer, and the state of the global climate depend crucially on processes in the tropical regions, in particular at the tropical tropopause. The research project TROCCINOX investigates the impact of tropical deep convection on the distribution and the sources of trace gases, cloud and aerosol particles focusing on processes in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.
The TROCCINOX and TroCCiBras aircraft fleet in Araçatuba during TROCCINOX-2 in February 2005.
The general objectives of TROCCINOX are:
- to improve the knowledge about lightning-produced NOx (LNOx) in tropical thunderstorms by quantifying the produced amounts, by comparing it to other major sources of NOx and by assessing its global impact, and
- to improve the current knowledge on the occurrence of other trace gases (including water vapour) and particles (ice crystal and aerosols) in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere in connection with tropical deep convection as well as large scale upwelling motions
The scientific objectives of TROCCINOX are addressed by performing field experiments in the tropics including measurements on different spatial scales. Two fully instrumented research aircraft, the Russian M55 Geophysica and DLR´s Falcon probe the large scale structure of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during transfer flights to and from Brazil. In co-operation with Brazilian partners (IPMET, UNESP, INPE) the aircraft operations are co-ordinated with detailed ground-based and space borne systems. Numerical modelling of the observed processes are carried out in order to improve understanding and quantification of the observed processes and assessments of their global impacts.
During a first field campaign in February and March 2004 the Falcon was deployed to Brazil. An intense measuring campaign centered around Bauru in the State of São Paulo was co-ordinated with the EU sponsored HIBISCUS project and the Brazilian TroCCiBras project which is coordinated by IPMET.
The second TROCCINOX campaign is perforned during January and February 2005, again locally based in São Paulo State. Both TROCCINOX aircraft, the Geophysica and the Falcon, are operated out of Araçatuba airport in co-ordination with a Brazilian Bandeirante aircraft. Ground based observatons by IPMET’s weather radar network and DLR’s lightning detection system complete the information on thunderstorm occurrence.
TROCCINOX is part of the VINTERSOL cluster of projects dedicated to the Validation of INTERnational Satellites and study of Ozone Loss under the European Ozone Research Coordination Unit (EORCU).