We report on airborne column absorption measurements made in 2009 with a pulsed direct-detection lidar operating at 1572.33 nm and utilizing the integrated path differential absorption technique. We demonstrated these at different altitudes from an aircraft in July and August in flights over four locations in the central and eastern United States. The results show clear line shape and absorption signals, which follow the expected changes with aircraft altitude from 3 to 13 km. The lidar measurement statistics were also calculated for each flight as a function of altitude. The optical depth varied nearly linearly with altitude, consistent with calculations based on atmospheric models. The scatter in the optical depth measurements varied with aircraft altitude as expected, and the median measurement precisions for the column varied from 0.9 to 1.2 ppm. The altitude range with the lowest scatter was 8–10 km, and the majority of measurements for the column within it had precisions between 0.2 and 0.9 ppm.
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