Abstract

We report airborne measurements of lidar directional reflectance (backscatter) from land surfaces at a wavelength in the 2.05 μm CO2 absorption band, with emphasis on snow-covered surfaces in various natural environments. Lidar backscatter measurements using this instrument provide insight into the capabilities of lidar for both airborne and future global-scale CO2 measurements from low Earth orbit pertinent to the NASA Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons mission. Lidar measurement capability is particularly useful when the use of solar scattering spectroscopy is not feasible for high-accuracy atmospheric CO2 measurements. Consequently, performance in high-latitude and winter season environments is an emphasis. Snow-covered surfaces are known to be dark in the CO2 band spectral regions. The quantitative backscatter data from these field measurements help to elucidate the range of backscatter values that can be expected in natural environments.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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