In a recent publication, Leblanc and McDermid [Appl. Opt. , 47, 5592 (2008)] proposed a hybrid calibration technique for Raman water vapor lidar involving a tungsten lamp and radiosondes. Measurements made with the lidar telescope viewing the calibration lamp were used to stabilize the lidar calibration determined by comparison with radiosonde. The technique provided a significantly more stable calibration constant than radiosondes used alone. The technique involves the use of a calib ration lamp in a fixed position in front of the lidar receiver aperture. We examine this configuration and find that such a configuration likely does not properly sample the full lidar system optical efficiency. While the technique is a useful addition to the use of radiosondes alone for lidar calibration, it is important to understand the scenarios under which it will not provide an accurate quantification of system optical efficiency changes. We offer examples of these scenarios. Scanning of the full telescope aperture with the calibration lamp can circumvent most of these limitations. Based on the work done to date, it seems likely that the use of multiple calibration lamps in different fixed positions in front of the telescope may provide sufficient redundancy for long-term calibration needs. Further full-aperture scanning experiments, performed over an extended period of time, are needed to determine a “best practice” for the use of multiple calibration lamps in the hybrid technique.
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