The European Space Agency will launch the Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument (ALADIN) for global wind profile observations in the near future. The potential of ALADIN to measure the optical properties of aerosol and cirrus, as well, is investigated based on simulations. A comprehensive data analysis scheme is developed that includes (a) the correction of Doppler-shifted particle backscatter interference in the molecular backscatter channels (cross-talk effect), (b) a procedure that allows us to check the quality of the cross-talk correction, and (c) the procedures for the independent retrieval of profiles of the volume extinction and backscatter coefficients of particles considering the height-dependent ALADIN signal resolution. The error analysis shows that the particle backscatter and extinction coefficients, and the corresponding extinction-to-backscatter ratio (lidar ratio), can be obtained with an overall (systematic + statistical) error of 10%–15%, 15%–30%, and 20%–35%, respectively, in tropospheric aerosol and dust layers with extinction values from ; 700-shot averaging ( horizontal resolution) is required. Vertical signal resolution is in the lower troposphere and in the free troposphere. In cirrus characterized by extinction coefficients of and an optical depth of , backscatter coefficients, optical depth, and column lidar ratios can be obtained with 25%–35% relative uncertainty and a horizontal resolution of (140 shots). In the stratosphere, only the backscatter coefficient of aerosol layers and polar stratospheric clouds can be retrieved with an acceptable uncertainty of 15%–30%. Vertical resolution is 2000 m.
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