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6 August 2010 Measuring and forecasting of PWV above La Silla, APEX and Paranal Observatories
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The content of precipitable water vapor (PWV) in the atmosphere is very important for astronomy in the infrared and radio (sub-millimeter) spectral regions. Therefore, the astrometeorology group has developed different methods to derive this value from measurements and making forecasts using a meteorological model. The goal is use that model to predict the atmospheric conditions and support the scheduling of astronomical observations. At ESO, several means to determine PWV over the observatories have been used, such as IR-radiometers (IRMA), optical and infrared spectrographs as well as estimates using data from GOES-12 satellite. Using all of these remote sensing methods a study undertaken to compare the accuracy of these PWV measurements to the simultaneous in-situ measurements provided by radiosondes. Four dedicated campaigns were conducted during the months of May, July, August and November of 2009 at the La Silla, APEX and Paranal observatory sites. In addition, the astrometeorological group employs the WRF meteorological model with the goal of simulating the state of the atmosphere (every 6 hours) and forecasting the PWV. With these simulations, plus satellite images, radiosonde campaign data can be classified synoptically and at the same time the model can be validated with respect to PWV.
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A. Chacón, O. Cuevas, D. Pozo, J. Marín, A. Oyanadel, C. Dougnac, L. Cortes, L. Illanes, M. Caneo, M. Curé, M. Sarazin, F. Kerber, A. Smette, D. Rabanus, R. Querel, and G. Tompkins "Measuring and forecasting of PWV above La Silla, APEX and Paranal Observatories", Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 77334K (6 August 2010);

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