Abstract

Aerosol and cloud measurements are simulated for a space shuttle lidar. Expected errors (in signal, transmission, density, and calibration) are calculated algebraically and checked by simulating measurements and retrievals using random number generators. Vertical resolution is 0.1–0.5 km in the troposphere, 0.5–2.0 km above, except 0.25–1.0 km in mesospheric cloud and aerosol layers. Horizontal resolution is 100–2000 km. By day vertical structure is retrieved for tenuous clouds, Saharan aerosols, and boundary layer aerosols (at 0.53 and 1.06 μm) as well as strong volcanic stratospheric aerosols (at 0.53 μm). Quantitative backscatter is retrieved provided that particulate optical depth does not exceed ∼0.3. By night all these constituents are retrieved plus upper tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols (at 1.06 μm), mesospheric aerosols (at 0.53 μm), and noctilucent clouds (at 1.06 and 0.53 μm). Molecular density is a leading source of error in measuring nonvolcanic stratospheric and upper tropospheric aerosols.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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