Atmospheric clouds are highly non-stationary, inhomogeneous and intermittent, and embody an enormous range of scales with strong couplings between turbulent fluid dynamics and microphysical processes. LACIS-T, the turbulent version of the Leipzig Aerosol Cloud Interaction Simulator (LACIS), which is a wind tunnel with precisely controlled turbulent temperature and humidity fields, allows detailed investigations of the interactions between cloud microphysical processes (e.g., cloud condensation nuclei activation, heteorogeneous ice nucleation) and turbulence under reproducible laboratory conditions.

The results and knowledge to be gained are highly interesting on a fundamental process level, and will also help in interpreting the results from in-situ measurements in clouds. The investigations performed will significantly enhance our understanding concerning the interactions between cloud microphysics and turbulence, and consequently cloud processes in general. The project is financially supported by the Leibniz-society (WGL, SAW project: SAW-2013-IfT-2).

Sketch of LACIS-T in the TROPOS cloud lab building: © Schulz und Schulz Architekten GmbH; Ingenieurbüro Mathias Lippold, VDI; TROPOS