Abstract

Recent developments in the search for a practical method of exploiting the multiple-scattering contributions to lidar returns are consolidated in a robust retrieval algorithm. The theoretical basis is the small-angle diffusion approximation. This implies that the algorithm is limited to media of sufficient optical thickness to generate measurable multiple scattering and to geometries for which the receiver’s footprint diameter is less than the scattering mean free path. The primary retrieval products are the range-resolved extinction coefficient and the effective particle diameter from which secondary products such as the particle volume mixing ratio and the extinction at other wavelengths can be calculated. We recall briefly earlier validation tests and present new data and analysis that demonstrate and quantify the solutions’ accuracy. The results show that systematic lidar probings with the proposed multiple-scattering technique can provide valuable physical information on cloud formation and evolution.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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