Abstract

Different definitions for estimating the degree of changes in signal polarization measured by lidar measurements are used both to detect the presence of nonspherical aerosol particles and to estimate their shape and density. Our aim is to provide a tool for calculation and interpretation of changes in polarization that are due to aerosol backscatter measured by the lidar technique. An overview of several techniques used to calculate linear depolarization from two-channel lidar measurements is given. Advantages and disadvantages of each method are analyzed when we apply them on a lidar vertical profile. Systematic errors are also discussed. First, an overview of different estimations of polarizability of atmospheric molecules is given. The presence of signal with orthogonal polarization in each channel (cross talk) is a source of error in depolarization estimation. It is calculated at various degrees of contamination, and the total uncertainty on depolarization definition is retrieved.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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