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Zhien Wang, Kenneth Sassen, David N. Whiteman, and Belay B. Demoz

Abstract

Mixed-phase clouds are still poorly understood, though studies have indicated that their parameterization in general circulation models is critical for climate studies. Most of the knowledge of mixed-phase clouds has been gained from in situ measurements, but reliable remote sensing algorithms to study mixed-phase clouds extensively are lacking. A combined active and passive remote sensing approach for studying supercooled altocumulus with ice virga, using multiple remote sensor observations, is presented. Precipitating altocumulus clouds are a common type of mixed-phase clouds, and their easily identifiable structure provides a simple scenario to study mixed-phase clouds. First, ice virga is treated as an independent ice cloud, and an existing lidar–radar algorithm to retrieve ice water content and general effective size profiles is applied. Then, a new iterative approach is used to retrieve supercooled water cloud properties by minimizing the difference between atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer (AERI)–observed radiances and radiances, calculated using the discrete-ordinate radiative transfer model at 12 selected wavelengths. Case studies demonstrate the capabilities of this approach in retrieving radiatively important microphysical properties to characterize this type of mixed-phase cloud. The good agreement between visible optical depths derived from lidar measurement and those estimated from retrieved liquid water path and effective radius provides a closure test for the accuracy of mainly AERI-based supercooled water cloud retrieval.

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David N. Whiteman, Kurt Rush, Igor Veselovskii, Martin Cadirola, Joseph Comer, John R. Potter, and Rebecca Tola

Abstract

Profile measurements of atmospheric water vapor, cirrus clouds, and carbon dioxide using the Raman Airborne Spectroscopic lidar (RASL) during ground-based, upward-looking tests are presented here. These measurements improve upon any previously demonstrated using Raman lidar. Daytime boundary layer profiling of water vapor mixing ratio up to an altitude of approximately 4 km under moist, midsummer conditions is performed with less than 5% random error using temporal and spatial resolution of 2 min and 60–210 m, respectively. Daytime cirrus cloud optical depth and extinction-to-backscatter ratio measurements are made using a 1-min average. The potential to simultaneously profile carbon dioxide and water vapor mixing ratio through the boundary layer and extending into the free troposphere during the nighttime is also demonstrated.

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Tetsu Sakai, David N. Whiteman, Felicita Russo, David D. Turner, Igor Veselovskii, S. Harvey Melfi, Tomohiro Nagai, and Yuzo Mano

Abstract

This paper describes recent work in the Raman lidar liquid water cloud measurement technique. The range-resolved spectral measurements at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center indicate that the Raman backscattering spectra measured in and below low clouds agree well with theoretical spectra for vapor and liquid water. The calibration coefficients of the liquid water measurement for the Raman lidar at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Southern Great Plains site of the U.S. Department of Energy were determined by comparison with the liquid water path (LWP) obtained with Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) and the liquid water content (LWC) obtained with the millimeter wavelength cloud radar and water vapor radiometer (MMCR–WVR) together. These comparisons were used to estimate the Raman liquid water cross-sectional value. The results indicate a bias consistent with an effective liquid water Raman cross-sectional value that is 28%–46% lower than published, which may be explained by the fact that the difference in the detectors' sensitivity has not been accounted for. The LWP of a thin altostratus cloud showed good qualitative agreement between lidar retrievals and AERI. However, the overall ensemble of comparisons of LWP showed considerable scatter, possibly because of the different fields of view of the instruments, the 350-m distance between the instruments, and the horizontal inhomogeneity of the clouds. The LWC profiles for a thick stratus cloud showed agreement between lidar retrievals and MMCR–WVR between the cloud base and 150 m above that where the optical depth was less than 3. Areas requiring further research in this technique are discussed.

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J. E. M. Goldsmith, Scott E. Bisson, Richard A. Ferrare, Keith D. Evans, David N. Whiteman, and S. H. Melfi

Raman lidar is a leading candidate for providing the detailed space- and time-resolved measurements of water vapor needed by a variety of atmospheric studies. Simultaneous measurements of atmospheric water vapor are described using two collocated Raman lidar systems. These lidar systems, developed at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and Sandia National Laboratories, acquired approximately 12 hours of simultaneous water vapor data during three nights in November 1992 while the systems were collocated at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Although these lidar systems differ substantially in their design, measured water vapor profiles agreed within 0.15 g kg−1 between altitudes of 1 and 5 km. Comparisons with coincident radiosondes showed all instruments agreed within 0.2 g kg−1 in this same altitude range. Both lidars also clearly showed the advection of water vapor in the middle troposphere and the pronounced increase in water vapor in the nocturnal boundary layer that occurred during one night.

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Andreas Behrendt, Volker Wulfmeyer, Thorsten Schaberl, Hans-Stefan Bauer, Christoph Kiemle, Gerhard Ehret, Cyrille Flamant, Susan Kooi, Syed Ismail, Richard Ferrare, Edward V. Browell, and David N. Whiteman

Abstract

The dataset of the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002) gives the first opportunity for direct intercomparisons of airborne water vapor lidar systems and allows very important conclusions to be drawn for future field campaigns. Three airborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) systems were operated simultaneously during some IHOP_2002 missions: the DIAL of Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, and the Lidar Embarque pour l’etude des Aerosols et des Nuages de l’interaction Dynamique Rayonnement et du cycle de l’Eau (LEANDRE II) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Data of one formation flight with DLR DIAL and LEANDRE II were investigated, which consists of 54 independent profiles of the two instruments measured with 10-s temporal average. For the height range of 1.14–1.64 km above sea level, a bias of (−0.41 ± 0.16) g kg−1 or −7.9% ± 3.1% was found for DLR DIAL compared to LEANDRE II (LEANDRE II drier) as well as root-mean-square (RMS) deviations of (0.87 ± 0.18) g kg−1 or 16.9% ± 3.5%. With these results, relative bias values of −9.3%, −1.5%, +2.7%, and +8.1% result for LEANDRE II, DLR DIAL, the scanning Raman lidar (SRL), and LASE, respectively, using the mutual bias values determined in Part I for the latter three sensors. From the three possible profile-to-profile intercomparisons between DLR DIAL and LASE, one case cannot provide information on the system performances due to very large inhomogeneity of the atmospheric water vapor field, while one of the two remaining two cases showed a difference of −4.6% in the height range of 1.4–3.0 km and the other of −25% in 1.3–3.8 km (in both cases DLR DIAL was drier than LASE). The airborne-to-airborne comparisons showed that if airborne water vapor lidars are to be validated down to an accuracy of better than 5% in the lower troposphere, the atmospheric variability of water vapor has to be taken into account down to scales of less than a kilometer unless a sufficiently large number of intercomparison cases is available to derive statistically solid biases and RMS deviations. In conclusion, the overall biases between the water vapor data of all three airborne lidar systems operated during IHOP_2002 are smaller than 10% in the present stage of data evaluation, which confirms the previous estimates of the instrumental accuracies for all the systems.

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Andreas Behrendt, Volker Wulfmeyer, Hans-Stefan Bauer, Thorsten Schaberl, Paolo Di Girolamo, Donato Summa, Christoph Kiemle, Gerhard Ehret, David N. Whiteman, Belay B. Demoz, Edward V. Browell, Syed Ismail, Richard Ferrare, Susan Kooi, and Junhong Wang

Abstract

The water vapor data measured with airborne and ground-based lidar systems during the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002), which took place in the Southern Great Plains during 13 May–25 June 2002 were investigated. So far, the data collected during IHOP_2002 provide the largest set of state-of-the-art water vapor lidar data measured in a field campaign. In this first of two companion papers, intercomparisons between the scanning Raman lidar (SRL) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and two airborne systems are discussed. There are 9 intercomparisons possible between SRL and the differential absorption lidar (DIAL) of Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), while there are 10 intercomparisons between SRL and the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) of the NASA Langley Research Center. Mean biases of (−0.30 ± 0.25) g kg−1 or −4.3% ± 3.2% for SRL compared to DLR DIAL (DLR DIAL drier) and (0.16 ± 0.31) g kg−1 or 5.3% ± 5.1% for SRL compared to LASE (LASE wetter) in the height range of 1.3–3.8 km above sea level (450–2950 m above ground level at the SRL site) were found. Putting equal weight on the data reliability of the three instruments, these results yield relative bias values of −4.6%, −0.4%, and +5.0% for DLR DIAL, SRL, and LASE, respectively. Furthermore, measurements of the Snow White (SW) chilled-mirror hygrometer radiosonde were compared with lidar data. For the four comparisons possible between SW radiosondes and SRL, an overall bias of (−0.27 ± 0.30) g kg−1 or −3.2% ± 4.5% of SW compared to SRL (SW drier) again for 1.3–3.8 km above sea level was found. Because it is a challenging effort to reach an accuracy of humidity measurements down to the ∼5% level, the overall results are very satisfactory and confirm the high and stable performance of the instruments and the low noise errors of each profile.

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David N. Whiteman, Kurt Rush, Scott Rabenhorst, Wayne Welch, Martin Cadirola, Gerry McIntire, Felicita Russo, Mariana Adam, Demetrius Venable, Rasheen Connell, Igor Veselovskii, Ricardo Forno, Bernd Mielke, Bernhard Stein, Thierry Leblanc, Stuart McDermid, and Holger Vömel

Abstract

A high-performance Raman lidar operating in the UV portion of the spectrum has been used to acquire, for the first time using a single lidar, simultaneous airborne profiles of the water vapor mixing ratio, aerosol backscatter, aerosol extinction, aerosol depolarization and research mode measurements of cloud liquid water, cloud droplet radius, and number density. The Raman Airborne Spectroscopic Lidar (RASL) system was installed in a Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft and was flown over the mid-Atlantic United States during July–August 2007 at altitudes ranging between 5 and 8 km. During these flights, despite suboptimal laser performance and subaperture use of the telescope, all RASL measurement expectations were met, except that of aerosol extinction. Following the Water Vapor Validation Experiment—Satellite/Sondes (WAVES_2007) field campaign in the summer of 2007, RASL was installed in a mobile trailer for ground-based use during the Measurements of Humidity and Validation Experiment (MOHAVE-II) field campaign held during October 2007 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Table Mountain Facility in southern California. This ground-based configuration of the lidar hardware is called Atmospheric Lidar for Validation, Interagency Collaboration and Education (ALVICE). During the MOHAVE-II field campaign, during which only nighttime measurements were made, ALVICE demonstrated significant sensitivity to lower-stratospheric water vapor. Numerical simulation and comparisons with a cryogenic frost-point hygrometer are used to demonstrate that a system with the performance characteristics of RASL–ALVICE should indeed be able to quantify water vapor well into the lower stratosphere with extended averaging from an elevated location like Table Mountain. The same design considerations that optimize Raman lidar for airborne use on a small research aircraft are, therefore, shown to yield significant dividends in the quantification of lower-stratospheric water vapor. The MOHAVE-II measurements, along with numerical simulation, were used to determine that the likely reason for the suboptimal airborne aerosol extinction performance during the WAVES_2007 campaign was a misaligned interference filter. With full laser power and a properly tuned interference filter, RASL is shown to be capable of measuring the main water vapor and aerosol parameters with temporal resolutions of between 2 and 45 s and spatial resolutions ranging from 30 to 330 m from a flight altitude of 8 km with precision of generally less than 10%, providing performance that is competitive with some airborne Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) water vapor and High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) aerosol instruments. The use of diode-pumped laser technology would improve the performance of an airborne Raman lidar and permit additional instrumentation to be carried on board a small research aircraft. The combined airborne and ground-based measurements presented here demonstrate a level of versatility in Raman lidar that may be impossible to duplicate with any other single lidar technique.

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Juan Carlos Antuña-Marrero, Eduardo Landulfo, René Estevan, Boris Barja, Alan Robock, Elián Wolfram, Pablo Ristori, Barclay Clemesha, Francesco Zaratti, Ricardo Forno, Errico Armandillo, Álvaro E. Bastidas, Ángel M. de Frutos Baraja, David N. Whiteman, Eduardo Quel, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Fabio Lopes, Elena Montilla-Rosero, and Juan L. Guerrero-Rascado

Abstract

Sustained and coordinated efforts of lidar teams in Latin America at the beginning of the twenty-first century have built the Latin American Lidar Network (LALINET), the only observational network in Latin America created by the agreement and commitment of Latin American scientists. They worked with limited funding but an abundance of enthusiasm and commitment toward their joint goal. Before LALINET, there were a few pioneering lidar stations operating in Latin America, described briefly here. Biannual Latin American lidar workshops, held from 2001 to the present, supported both the development of the regional lidar community and LALINET. At those meetings, lidar researchers from Latin America met to conduct regular scientific and technical exchanges among themselves and with experts from the rest of the world. Regional and international scientific cooperation has played an important role in the development of both the individual teams and the network. The current LALINET status and activities are described, emphasizing the processes of standardization of the measurements, methodologies, calibration protocols, and retrieval algorithms. Failures and successes achieved in the buildup of LALINET are presented. In addition, the first LALINET joint measurement campaign and a set of aerosol extinction profile measurements obtained from the aerosol plume produced by the Calbuco volcano eruption on 22 April 2015 are described and discussed.

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