Project: SODust - Scattering simulations of Oriented large Dust particles

Prace Call: 17th
ID: 2018184447, Leader: Vassilis Amiridis
Affiliation: National Observatory of Athens, GR
Research Field: Earth System Sciences
Collaborators: Nikolaos Kontos, RAYMETRICS SA, GR.
Resource Awarded: 35 Mil. core hours on MareNostrum


The Scattering simulations of Oriented large Dust particles (SODust) project aims at quantifying the scattering properties of large, irregularly-shaped desert dust particles, oriented due to triboelectrification processes within the dust cloud. The electrification of desert dust plumes and its effect on climate is the subject of the new ERC Consolidator Grant «D-TECT» and the SODust simulations will be central for realising its scopes. The scattering simulations will be performed with the Discrete Dipole Approximation (DDA) method, considering irregular-shaped particles with different aspect ratios. DDA has been proven capable of accurately reproducing the scattering of irregular-shaped dust particles with radius of only up to ~1.6 μm due to the high computational cost for larger sizes. However, desert dust particle sizes are much larger, while their scattering properties for realistic shapes are completely missing for the size range between 1.6 and 16 μm. The required computational cost for these calculations is quite high, of the order of hundreds of millions CPU core-hours. SODust aims at bridging this existing gap by extending the DDA scattering calculations to larger particles (up to ~5 μm) using the extensive computer resources of the PRACE RI. The SODust unique scattering database is expected to be extended even further in the future and it will be made available to the scientific community to be used by all remote sensing applications considering complex particle shapes. It is indisputable that such simulations will provide unprecedented knowledge, affecting many research fields ranging from Earth System science to Astronomy and Astrophysics.