Abstract

The feasibility of determining the aerosol size distribution from the particles' backscatter and extinction coefficients at four lidar wavelengths (0.347, 0.530, 0.694, and 1.06 μm) is investigated in a numerical study. It is shown that all these eight optical data points together carry enough information for fairly good retrieval of the particle size distribution in the radius range from ∼0.05 to 2.5 μm. The maximum mean error of the optical data may not exceed ∼5%, and in addition the particles' refractive index must be known precisely (real part ±0.02, imaginary part ±0.002i). It is estimated that the derivation of the particles' backscatter and extinction coefficients cannot be made accurately enough from lidar measurements, and so, unfortunately, the particles' refractive index has to be determined from sampled particles. Thus the lidar alone gives only qualitative information on the aerosol size distribution, and it is not suitable for remote quantitative determination of the true aerosol size distribution.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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