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  • Author or Editor: J. D. Spinhirne x
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J. D. Spinhirne, R. Boers, and W. D. Hart

Abstract

Maine stratus clouds were simultaneously observed by nadir Nd:YAG lidar measurements and in situ cloud physics measurements. A procedure was applied to derive the two-dimensional vertical cross section of the liquid water from within the cloud top lidar observations. A comparison to direct in-cloud liquid water observations gave good results. The liquid water retrieval was limited to an effective optical of 1.5. The true cloud optical thickness was also obtained from the retrieval procedure to a corresponding limit of 3.8. The optical thickness of the observed marine stratus clouds was predominantly below 3.0.

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J. D. Spinhirne, J. A. Reagan, and B. M. Herman

Abstract

Vertical profiles of aerosol extinction and backscatter in the troposphere are obtained from multizenith angle lidar measurements. A direct slant path solution was found to be not possible due to horizontal inhomogeneity of the atmosphere. Regression analysis with respect to zenith angle for a layer integration of the angle-dependent lidar equation was thus employed to determine the optical thickness and aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio for defined atmospheric layers, and subsequently, cross-section profiles could be evaluated. Measurements were made with an elastic backscatter ruby lidar system with calibration by a standard target procedure. The results from 20 measurement cases are presented. For layer-aerosol optical thicknesses >0.04, useful results were obtained, and corroboration by solar radiometer aerosol optical depth data was found. The mean mixed-layer aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio for the measurements was 19.5 sr with a standard deviation of 8.3 sr. With the use of an aerosol size distribution inverted from wavelength-dependent solar aerosol optical depth data, the measured extinction-to-backscatter ratio was compared to Mie theory calculations, and the imaginary index giving best agreement was determined. A maximum upper limit of 0.015 was indicated for the aerosol imaginary index. but the mean result was 0.003 for a real index of 1.52.

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J. D. Spinhirne, M. Z. Hansen, and J. Simpson

Abstract

High-resolution observations of the structure of cloud tops have been obtained with polarization lidar operated from a high altitude aircraft. Case studies of measurements acquired from cumuliform cloud systems are presented, two from September 1979 observations in the area of Florida and adjacent waters and a third during the May 1981 CCOPE experiment in southeast Montana. Accurate cloud top height structure and relative density of hydrometers are obtained from the lidar return signal intensity. Correlation between the signal return intensity and active updrafts was noted. Thin cirrus overlying developing turrets was observed in some cases. Typical values of the observed backscatter cross section were 0.1–0.5 (km sr−1) for cumulonimbus tops.

The depolarization ratio of the lidar signals was a function of the thermodynamic phase of cloud top areas. An increase of the cloud top depolarization with decreasing temperature was found for temperatures above and below −40°C. The observed values of depolarization from water clouds were greater than reported by previous studies. Increased multiple scattering due to a larger range from the receiver to scattering medium is thought to have given rise to the greater water cloud depolarization for the cloud top measurements.

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J. R. Wang, J. D. Spinhirne, P. Racette, L. A. Chang, and W. Hart

Abstract

Simultaneous measurements with the millimeter-wave imaging radiometer (MIR), cloud lidar system (CLS), and the MODIS airborne simulator (MAS) were made aboard the NASA ER-2 aircraft over the western Pacific Ocean on 17–18 January 1993. These measurements were used to study the effects of clouds on water vapor profile retrievals based on millimeter-wave radiometer measurements. The CLS backscatter measurements (at 0.532 and 1.064 μm) provided information on the heights and a detailed structure of cloud layers; the types of clouds could be positively identified. All 12 MAS channels (0.6–13 μm) essentially respond to all types of clouds, while the six MIR channels (89–220 GHz) show little sensitivity to cirrus clouds. The radiances from the 12-μm and 0.875-μm channels of the MAS and the 89-GHz channel of the MIR were used to gauge the performance of the retrieval of water vapor profiles from the MIR observations under cloudy conditions. It was found that, for cirrus and absorptive (liquid) clouds, better than 80% of the retrieval was convergent when one of the three criteria was satisfied; that is, the radiance at 0.875 μm is less than 100 W cm−3 sr−1, or the brightness at 12 μm is greater than 260 K, or brightness at 89 GHz is less than 270 K (equivalent to cloud liquid water of less than 0.04 g cm−2). The range of these radiances for convergent retrieval increases markedly when the condition for convergent retrieval was somewhat relaxed. The algorithm of water vapor profiling from the MIR measurements could not perform adequately over the areas of storm-related clouds that scatter radiation at millimeter wavelengths.

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J. A. Reagan, J. D. Spinhirne, D. M. Byrne, D. W. Thomson, R. G. De Pena, and Y. Mamane

Abstract

Particulate size and height distributions, complex refractive index and mass loading have been measured and inferred from direct aircraft and indirect lidar-solar radiometer observations made during a unique joint experiment conducted the week of 18 November 1974 in Tucson, Ariz. The aircraft and lidar-solar radiometer measurements were first analyzed independently and the results were then intercompared. Vertical profiles of particulate extinction obtained from the lidar (monostatic) and aircraft measurements were found to be in excellent agreement on both a relative and absolute basis. Lidar (bistatic and monostatic) inferences of particulate mass loading agreed favorably with the aircraft mass monitor measurements. The aircraft and lidar (bistatic) size distribution determinations were found to be similar in shape and agreed in absolute value within an order of magnitude. The mean particle refractive index inferred from the lidar (bistatic) measurements (n = 1.40 − i0.000) agreed with the index of a significant fraction of the particles identified by electron microscope analysis of impactor samples collected with the aircraft.

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S. H. Melfi, J. D. Spinhirne, S-H. Chou, and S. P. Palm

Abstract

Observations of a convective planetary boundary layer (PBL) were made with an airborne, downward-looking lidar system over the Atlantic Ocean during a cold air outbreak. The lidar data revealed well-organized, regularly spaced cellular convection with dominant spacial scales between two and four times the height of the boundary layer. It is demonstrated that the lidar can accurately measure the structure of the PBL with high vertical and horizontal resolution. Parameters important for PBL modeling such as entrainment zone thickness, entrainment rate, PBL height and relative heat flux can be inferred from the lidar data. It is suggested that wind shear at the PBL top may influence both entrainment and convective cell size.

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