AMF Deployment, Niamey, Niger, West Africa
Main Site: 13° 28' 39.15" N, 2° 10' 27.62" E
Altitude: 205 meters
Ancillary Site: 13° 31' 19.14" N, 2° 37' 56.46" E
Altitude: 228.29 meters
In January 2006, the second deployment of the ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) began in Niamey, Niger, West Africa, at the Niger Meteorological Office at Niamey International Airport. This deployment is timed to coincide with the field phases and Special Observing Periods of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA). The ARM Program will participate in this international effort as the Radiative Divergence using AMF, GERB and AMMA Stations (RADAGAST) field campaign.
The primary purpose of this deployment is to combine an extended series of measurements from the AMF with those from the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) broad-band Earth radiation budget instrument on the Meteosat operational geostationary satellite, to provide the first well-sampled, direct estimates of the divergence of solar and thermal radiation across the atmosphere. The special observing periods will sample absorbing aerosols from desert dust and biomass burning in the dry season and in the summer monsoon to the deep convective clouds and large column moisture loadings. Thus, sampling many of the conditions that have been hypothesized as providing the source of any additional solar absorption. Several other applications will also be made possible by this deployment, notably studies of the impact of clouds, aerosol and water vapour on surface fluxes and validation of satellite-based estimates of surface fluxes through the large seasonal synoptic changes experienced in this part of West Africa.
Niger, West Africa, is one of the hottest countries in the world with heat so intense that it often causes the rain to evaporate before it hits the ground. The anticipated heat and dust is of concern to everyone participating in the campaign, especially with respect to the delicate instruments operating in Africa's extreme conditions. Niamey, a river port and trade center located on the Niger River in the southwestern region of the country, will be headquarters for the AMF. The one-year deployment will allow the science team to collect data during both the dry and wet (monsoon) seasons.