Abstract

A multiple-field-of-view (MFOV) lidar measurement and solution technique has been developed to exploit the retrievable particle extinction and size information contained in the multiple-scattering contributions to aerosol lidar returns. We describe the proposed solution algorithm. The primary retrieved parameters are the extinction coefficient at the lidar wavelength and the effective particle diameter from which secondary products such as the extinction at other wavelengths and the liquid-water content (LWC) of liquid-phase clouds can be derived. The solutions are compared with true values in a series of Monte Carlo simulations and with in-cloud measurements. Good agreement is obtained for the simulations. For the field experiment, the retrieved effective droplet diameter and LWC for the available seven cases studied are on average 15% and 35% (worst case) smaller than the measured data, respectively. In the latter case, the analysis shows that the differences cannot be attributed solely to lidar inversion errors. Despite the limited penetration depth (150–300 m) of the lidar pulses, the results of the studied cases indicate that the retrieved lidar solutions remain statistically representative of measurements performed over the full cloud extent. Long-term MFOV lidar monitoring could thus become a practical and economical option for cloud statistical studies but more experimentation on more varied cloud conditions, especially for LWC, is still needed.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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