In the analysis of Raman lidar measurements of aerosol extinction, it is necessary to calculate the derivative of the logarithm of the ratio between the atmospheric number density and the range-corrected lidar-received power. The statistical fluctuations of the Raman signal can produce large fluctuations in the derivative and thus in the aerosol extinction profile. To overcome this difficult situation we discuss three methods: Tikhonov regularization, variational, and the sliding best-fit (SBF). Three methods are performed on the profiles taken from the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network lidar database simulated at the Raman shifted wavelengths of 387 and associated with the emitted signals at 355 and . Our results show that the SBF method does not deliver good results for low fluctuation in the profile. However, Tikhonov regularization and the variational method yield very good aerosol extinction coefficient profiles for our examples. With regard to, e.g., the wavelength, the errors of the aerosol extinction coefficient profile by using the SBF, Tikhonov, and variational methods with respect to synthetic noisy data are 0.0015(0.0024), 0.00049(0.00086), and 0.00048(0.00082), respectively. Moreover, the errors by using the Tikhonov and variational methods with respect to a more realistic noisy profile are 0.0014(0.0016) and 0.0012(0.0016), respectively. In both cases the error given in parentheses concerns the second example.
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