Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Steven T. Fiorino, PhD


Operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) simulates aerosol abundance using climatic emission inventories due to a lack of available real-time observation. An advocation to monitor aerosol number concentration with a standardized global sensor network is defended. A comparison between observations from the existing network “PurpleAir” and condensation particle counters (CPC) reveals the necessity of regulated instrumentation when measuring aerosol number concentration. NWP initialization by the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) module is capable of augmentation by hourly aerosol observation. The disparity between observed in-situ particulate matter smaller than 2.5-μm in diameter (PM2.5) and Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) output—with GOCART—can be reduced via this modification. Analysis is done on WRF-Chem output near Dayton, Ohio after CPC data is manually inserted as WRF-Chem input at the surface. Upon confirmation of PM2.5 characterization improvement by point-observation initialization, a method of integrating PM2.5 abundance into the long-standing meteorological observation network is suggested: encoding of PM2.5 number concentration in the routine meteorological aerodrome report (METAR) as an estimate of horizontal visibility.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number