Inversion with two-dimensional (2-D) regularization is a new methodology that can be used for the retrieval of profiles of microphysical properties, e.g., effective radius and complex refractive index of atmospheric particles from complete (or sections) of profiles of optical particle properties. The optical profiles are acquired with multiwavelength Raman lidar. Previous simulations with synthetic data have shown advantages in terms of retrieval accuracy compared to our so-called classical one-dimensional (1-D) regularization, which is a method mostly used in the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET). The 1-D regularization suffers from flaws such as retrieval accuracy, speed, and ability for error analysis. In this contribution, we test for the first time the performance of the new 2-D regularization algorithm on the basis of experimental data. We measured with lidar an aged biomass-burning plume over West/Central Europe. For comparison, we use particle in situ data taken in the smoke plume during research aircraft flights upwind of the lidar. We find good agreement for effective radius and volume, surface-area, and number concentrations. The retrieved complex refractive index on average is lower than what we find from the in situ observations. Accordingly, the single-scattering albedo that we obtain from the inversion is higher than what we obtain from the aircraft data. In view of the difficult measurement situation, i.e., the large spatial and temporal distances between aircraft and lidar measurements, this test of our new inversion methodology is satisfactory.
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