Chan, Ka Lok

Place of Origin
Hong Kong

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU)
Munich (GERMANY)

Appointment Time in VERTIGO
2014-12-01 – 2017-11-30
Post-Vertigo Employment

since October 2017 employed at Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) (German Aerospace Agency), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany


Project Title
Airline companies and volcanic eruptions: Approaches to better combine information from different research disciplines (atmospheric measurements, modelling, engineering)
Project Description

Lidar certainly constitutes a very significant source of information with respect to monitoring volcanic layers as it is the only remote sensing technique providing range resolved aerosol information. It has been demonstrated after the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull (Wiegner et al., 2012) that exploitation of data from a Raman lidar as operated by the LMU Munich can provide the spatiotemporal distribution of the ash cloud with a resolution of a few meters and minutes, respectively. With sophisticated models of light scattering of non-spherical particles and supplementary data from sun photometers, the mass concentration of the ash layer can be estimated with an accuracy of 40%. The objectives of this project are to develop an observation-based strategy for detecting and characterizing volcanic layers, and to improve the accuracy of the retrieval of mass concentration several steps are necessary: (i) improvement of the accuracy of extinction-to-mass-conversion factors (by scattering models and/or coincident lidar and in-situ measurements) to be applied to lidar measurements, (ii) exploitation of the potential of ceilometer networks to interpolate between the limited number of advanced lidar systems, (iii) combination of lidar/ceilometer data with chemical transport models to get full spatial and temporal coverage, and (iv) implementation of algorithms for near real time applications. Based on the needs of airline companies and available observations the ESR will contribute to the development of a novel approach for deciding bodies with respect to the closure of airspace in case of a volcanic eruption.

Research Interests

Remote sensing of atmospheric pollutants
Spectroscopic measurement of atmospheric trace gases and greenhouse gases
Characterization of urban aerosol
Radiative transfer modeling
Chemical transport modeling
Satellite data processing
Digital image processing

About me

Sep 2009 – Aug 2011 Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Sep 2006 – Aug 2009 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) (Honours) in Applied Physics (Minor in Mathematics), City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong