See our project:


Stereo Observations of Clouds for LES Validation and Sub-scale Cloud Parameterizations

SOCLES combines high-frequency cloud observations:
multiple hemispheric cameras with high-resolution Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) at the JOYCE meteorological site. The main science objective:

better understanding and quantifying the fine-scale spatial and temporal structure of shallow cumulus cloud populations.

These transient cloud fields are highly heterogeneous! This behavior has complicated their representation in numerical weather prediction and climate models for decades.

SOCLES aims to fill a critical data gap on cumulus cloud geometry with new tools and methods. Thus, creating new opportunities for making progress. The high-resolution sampling capability of stereo camera reconstruction in 4D, combined with its considerable spatial coverage, allows capturing cumulus cloud populations in unprecedented detail.

The LES realizations supplement the observational data. They are used as a virtual laboratory for gaining insight and for testing measurement strategies. Assessing the realism of the LES is of key importance! It involves the determination of the resolution at which simulated cloud irregularity starts to match the stereo camera observations.

The open source Blender tool and its ray-tracing engine are used to generate realistic volume renderings of 3D cloud fields from LES. It includes optical effects such as absorption, scattering, sun glare and haze effects. Among others, hemispheric projections are used as a camera instrument simulator for LES. This exactly mimicks the way visual instruments like Total Sky Imagers (TSI) view the world. Thus, it allows a fair comparison between model and measurements.

SOCLES is an ongoing joint effort by scientists at the University of Bonn and the University of Cologne, supported by DFG: