We report on the feasibility of deriving microphysical parameters of bimodal particle size distributions from Mie-Raman lidar based on a triple Nd:YAG laser. Such an instrument provides backscatter coefficients at 355, 532, and 1064 nm and extinction coefficients at 355 and 532 nm. The inversion method employed is Tikhonov’s inversion with regularization. Special attention has been paid to extend the particle size range for which this inversion scheme works to ∼10 μm, which makes this algorithm applicable to large particles, e.g., investigations concerning the hygroscopic growth of aerosols. Simulations showed that surface area, volume concentration, and effective radius are derived to an accuracy of ∼50% for a variety of bimodal particle size distributions. For particle size distributions with an effective radius of <1 μm the real part of the complex refractive index was retrieved to an accuracy of ±0.05, the imaginary part was retrieved to 50% uncertainty. Simulations dealing with a mode-dependent complex refractive index showed that an average complex refractive index is derived that lies between the values for the two individual modes. Thus it becomes possible to investigate external mixtures of particle size distributions, which, for example, might be present along continental rims along which anthropogenic pollution mixes with marine aerosols. Measurement cases obtained from the Institute for Tropospheric Research six-wavelength aerosol lidar observations during the Indian Ocean Experiment were used to test the capabilities of the algorithm for experimental data sets. A benchmark test was attempted for the case representing anthropogenic aerosols between a broken cloud deck. A strong contribution of particle volume in the coarse mode of the particle size distribution was found.
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