Validation of aerosol backscatter profiles from Raman lidar and ceilometer using balloon-borne measurements
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Remote-sensing measurements by light detection and ranging (lidar) instruments are fundamental for the monitoring of altitude-resolved aerosol optical properties. Here we validate vertical profiles of aerosol backscatter coefficient (βaer) measured by two independent lidar systems using co-located balloon-borne measurements performed by Compact Optical Backscatter Aerosol Detector (COBALD) sondes. COBALD provides high-precision in situ measurements of βaer at two wavelengths (455 and 940 nm). The two analyzed lidar systems are the research Raman Lidar for Meteorological Observations (RALMO) and the commercial CHM15K ceilometer (Lufft, Germany). We consider in total 17 RALMO and 31 CHM15K profiles, co-located with simultaneous COBALD soundings performed throughout the years 2014–2019 at the MeteoSwiss observatory of Payerne (Switzerland). The RALMO (355 nm) and CHM15K (1064 nm) measurements are converted to 455 and 940 nm, respectively, using the Ångström exponent profiles retrieved from COBALD data. To account for the different receiver field-of-view (FOV) angles between the two lidars (0.01–0.02∘) and COBALD (6∘), we derive a custom-made correction using Mie-theory scattering simulations. Our analysis shows that both lidar instruments achieve on average a good agreement with COBALD measurements in the boundary layer and free troposphere, up to 6 km altitude. For medium-high-aerosol-content measurements at altitudes below 3 km, the mean ± standard deviation difference in βaer calculated from all considered soundings is −2 % ± 37 % (−0.018 ± 0.237 Mm−1 sr−1 at 455 nm) for RALMO−COBALD and +5 % ± 43 % (+0.009 ± 0.185 Mm−1 sr−1 at 940 mm) for CHM15K−COBALD. Above 3 km altitude, absolute deviations generally decrease, while relative deviations increase due to the prevalence of air masses with low aerosol content. Uncertainties related to the FOV correction and spatial- and temporal-variability effects (associated with the balloon's drift with altitude and different integration times) contribute to the large standard deviations observed at low altitudes. The lack of information on the aerosol size distribution and the high atmospheric variability prevent an accurate quantification of these effects. Nevertheless, the excellent agreement observed in individual profiles, including fine and complex structures in the βaer vertical distribution, shows that under optimal conditions, the discrepancies with the in situ measurements are typically comparable to the estimated statistical uncertainties in the remote-sensing measurements. Therefore, we conclude that βaer profiles measured by the RALMO and CHM15K lidar systems are in good agreement with in situ measurements by COBALD sondes up to 6 km altitude. Show more
Journal / seriesAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Pages / Article No.
159950 - Investigation of midlatitude high clouds characteristics and processes (SNF)
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