Abstract

Calibration is essential to derive aerosol backscatter coefficients from elastic scattering lidar. Unlike the visible UV wavelengths where calibration is based on a molecular reference, calibration of the 1064nm lidar channel requires other approaches, which depend on various assumptions. In this paper, we analyze two independent calibration methods which use (i) low-altitude water phase clouds and (ii) high cirrus clouds. In particular, we show that to achieve optimal performance, aerosol attenuation below the cloud base and cloud multiple scattering must be accounted for. When all important processes are considered, we find that these two independent methods can provide a consistent calibration constant with relative differences less than 15%. We apply these calibration techniques to demonstrate the stability of our lidar on a monthly scale, along with a natural reduction of the lidar efficiency on an annual scale. Furthermore, our calibration procedure allows us to derive consistent aerosol backscatter coefficients and angstrom coefficient profiles (5321064nm) along with column extinction-to-backscatter ratios which are in good agreement with sky radiometer inversions.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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