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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Dickerson

[2.1.22] Dickerson wins EAGER award from NSF PDM

NSF's Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program awards Dr. Dickerson $275K for his proposal titled "EAGER: A Vertical Wind Tunnel for Determination of Scavenging Efficacy and Hydrometeor Physics"

Below-cloud scavenging by raindrops plays a critical role in removing natural and anthropogenic aerosols, those which contribute to climate change, from the atmosphere. However, scavenging of aerosols by rainfall events remains the most uncertain constituent in climate models, largely due to current experimental limitations to provide direct evidence of aerosol collection by falling raindrops. This project will construct a vertical wind tunnel capable of levitating water drops while exposing the drops to a wide range of aerosol types. Integrated into the wind tunnel will be modern aerosol generation and characterization equipment that permits the precise delivery of aerosols to the drop. The experimental facility will have the ability of measuring aerosol collection by a drop of prescribed size for a large range of aerosol sizes, while the drop resides in the tunnel. The experimental facility will deliver atmospherically relevant flow conditions to the drop by controlling temperature and humidity, and levitate drops in calm and turbulent wind conditions. High-speed cameras will capture the shape and oscillation of drops in simulated free fall as drops collect particles, grow, and evaporate. The establishment of such a facility will foster greater cooperation between US-based atmospheric scientists and the international community, the future exchange of students, and be a platform for STEM outreach to local high school students.

Dickerson traveled to the Mainz Wind Tunnel facility in Mainz, Germany in early Feb. 2022 to experience their one-of-a-kind facility before starting construction on his own tunnel.

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