Video Ice Particle Sampler (VIPS)


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The VIPS is an electro-optical instrument used to collect and record a continuous sample of cloud particles down to 5 um. Particles are collected continuously on a looped belt coated with silicone oil. The portion of the belt exposed to the airstream is imaged by two very high resolution charged coupled device (CCD) shuttered video cameras with different resolutions. The resulting imagery is available for real-time, in-flight evaluation of cloud conditions and for post-flight habit classification and spectra analysis.

The VIPS system is composed of two parts: (1) an electro-optical collection and imaging unit mounted in a standard particle measurement system (PMS) can, and (2) data acquisition and recording components. Aperture width of the collection subassembly is adjustable for varying flight conditions. The CCD imaging cameras are coupled with inline, high detail video enhancers. Particle imagery is recorded continuously at 30 Hz on high-resolution Hi-8 VCRs. Images are also captured at 1 Hz, digitized in real-time and recorded on an Apple PowerPC.

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