Abstract

We have investigated a technique that allows for the independent determination of the water vapor mixing ratio calibration factor for a Raman lidar system. This technique utilizes a procedure whereby a light source of known spectral characteristics is scanned across the aperture of the lidar system’s telescope and the overall optical efficiency of the system is determined. Direct analysis of the temperature-dependent differential scattering cross sections for vibration and vibration-rotation transitions (convolved with narrowband filters) along with the measured efficiency of the system, leads to a theoretical determination of the water vapor mixing ratio calibration factor. A calibration factor was also obtained experimentally from lidar measurements and radiosonde data. A comparison of the theoretical and experimentally determined values agrees within 5%. We report on the sensitivity of the water vapor mixing ratio calibration factor to uncertainties in parameters that characterize the narrowband transmission filters, the temperature-dependent differential scattering cross section, and the variability of the system efficiency ratios as the lamp is scanned across the aperture of the telescope used in the Howard University Raman Lidar system.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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