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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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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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