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Graham Feingold and Christian J. Grund

Abstract

This paper addresses the feasibility of using mulliwavelength lidar measurements to differentiate both qualitatively and quantitatively between the relative concentrations of hygroscopic and nonhygroscopic aerosol particles. The proposed technique utilizes the fact that hygroscopic particles undergo a size increase and refractive-index change with increasing relative humidity and that different wavelengths respond to these changes in different ways. The lidar wavelengths considered are 0.289, 0.355, 0.532, 0.694, 1.064, and 2.02 µm and the 9–11.5-µm range. It is shown that under certain conditions, a judicious choice of lidar wavelengths can provide a differential backscatter, sufficient to provide information on the size and percentage number concentration of the hygroscopic aerosol and, consequently, cloud condensation nuclei concentration. The presence of a mode of coarse particles (median radius greater than 0.3 µm) produces ambiguous results and limits application of the technique to regions sufficiently distant from coarse mode sources (e.g., in the free troposphere). The authors have identified a pair of wavelengths in the infrared region that provides a clear indication of the existence of these particles. The potential benefits of distinguishing hygroscopic particle concentration from nonhygroscopic particle concentration are great since remote measurement can provide good temporal and spatial coverage of these properties and valuable information for climate monitoring.

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Patrick Minnis, Joseph M. Alvarez, Kenneth Sassen, David F. Young, and Christian J. Grund

Abstract

Cirrus cloud radiative and physical characteristics are determined using a combination of ground-based aircraft, and satellite measurements taken as part of the FIRE Cirrus Intensive Field observations (IFO) during October and November 1986. Lidar backscatter data are used with rawinsonde data to define cloud base, center, and top heights and the corresponding temperature Coincident GOES 4-km visible (0.65 μm) and 8-km infrared window (11.5 μm) radiances are analyzed to determine cloud emittances and reflectances. Infrared optical depth is computed from the emittance results. Visible optical depth is derived from reflectance using a theoretical ice crystal scattering model and an empirical bidirectional reflectance model. No clouds with visible optical depths greater than 5 or infrared optical depths less than 0.1 were used in the analysis.

Average cloud thickness ranged from 0.5 km to 8.0 km for the 71 scenes. Mean vertical beam emittances derived from cloud-center temperatures were 0.62 for all scenes compared to 0.33 for the cam study (27–28 October) reflecting the thinner clouds observed for the latter scenes. Relationships between cloud emittance, extinction coefficients, and temperature for the case study are very similar to those derived from earlier surface-based studies. The thicker clouds seen during the other IFO days yield different results. Emittances derived using cloud-top temperature were ratioed to those determined from cloud-center temperature. A nearly linear relationship between these ratios and cloud-center temperature holds promise for determining actual cloud-top temperatures and cloud thickness from visible and infrared radiance pairs.

The mean ratio of the visible scattering optical depth to the infrared absorption optical depth was 2.13 for these data. This scattering efficiency ratio shows a significant dependence on cloud temperature. Values of mean scattering efficiency as high as 2.6 suggest the presence of small ice particles at temperatures below 230 K. The parameterization of visible reflectance in terms of cloud optical depth and clear-sky reflectance shows promise as a simplified method for interpreting visible satellite data reflected from cirrus clouds. Large uncertainties in the optical parameters due to cloud reflectance anisotropy and shading were found by analyzing data for various solar zenith angles and for simultaneous AVHRR data. Inhomogeneities in the cloud fields result in uneven cloud shading that apparently causes the occurrence of anomalously dark, cloudy pixels in the GOES data. These shading effects complicate the interpretation of the satellite data. The results highlight the need for additional study of cirrus cloud scattering processes and remote sensing techniques.

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Kenneth Sassen, Christian J. Grund, James D. Spinhirne, Michael M. Hardesty, and Jose M. Alvarez

Abstract

Optical remote sensing measurements of cirrus cloud properties were collected by one airborne and four ground-based lidar systems over a 32-h period during this cue study from the First ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Program) Regional Experiment (FIRE) Intensive Field Observation (IFO) program. The lidar systems were variously equipped to collect linear depolarization, intrinsically calibrated backscatter, and Doppler velocity information. Data presented here describe the temporal evolution and spatial distribution of cirrus clouds over an area encompassing southern and central Wisconsin. The cirrus cloud types include: (a) dissipating subvisual and “thin” fibrous cirrus cloud bands, (b) an isolated mesoscale uncinus complex (MUC), (c) a large-scale, deep cloud that developed into an organized cirrus structure within the lidar array, and (d) a series of intensifying mesoscale cirrus cloud masses. Although the cirrus frequently developed in the vertical from particle fallstreaks emanating from generating regions at or near cloud tops, glaciating supercooled (−30° to −35°C) altocumulus clouds contributed to the production of ice mass at the base of the deep cirrus cloud, apparently even through riming, and other mechanisms involving evaporation, wave motions, and radiative effects are indicated. The generating regions ranged in scale from ∼1.0-km cirrus uncinus cells, to organized MUC structures up to ∼120 km across.

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Stephen A. Cohn, Shane D. Mayor, Christian J. Grund, Tammy M. Weckwerth, and Christoph Senff

The authors describe and present early results from the July–August 1996 Lidars in Flat Terrain (LIFT) experiment. LIFT was a boundary layer experiment that made use of recently developed Doppler, aerosol backscatter, and ozone lidars, along with radars and surface instrumentation, to study the structure and evolution of the convective boundary layer over the very flat terrain of central Illinois. Scientific goals include measurement of fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum; vertical velocity statistics; study of entrainment and boundary layer height; and observation of organized coherent structures. The data collected will also be used to evaluate the performance of these new lidars and compare measurements of velocity and boundary layer height to those obtained from nearby radar wind profilers. LIFT was a companion to the Flatland96 experiment, described by Angevine et al.

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Christian J. Grund, Robert M. Banta, Joanne L. George, James N. Howell, Madison J. Post, Ronald A. Richter, and Ann M. Weickmann

Abstract

The high-resolution Doppler lidar (HRDL) was developed to provide higher spatial, temporal, and velocity resolution and more reliable performance than was previously obtainable with CO2-laser-based technology. The improved performance is needed to support continued advancement of boundary layer simulation models and to facilitate high-resolution turbulent flux measurements. HRDL combines a unique, eye-safe, near-IR-wavelength, solid-state laser transmitter with advanced signal processing and a high-speed scanner to achieve 30-m range resolution and a velocity precision of ∼10 cm s−1 under a variety of marine and continental boundary layer conditions, depending on atmospheric and operating conditions. An attitude-compensating scanner has been developed to facilitate shipboard marine boundary layer observations. Vertical velocities, fine details of the wind profile near the surface, turbulence kinetic energy profiles, and momentum flux are measurable with HRDL. The system is also useful for cloud studies. The HRDL technology, capabilities, and field performance are discussed.

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