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Proceedings Paper

Global monitoring of clouds and aerosols using a network of micropulse lidar systems
Author(s): Ellsworth J. Welton; James R. Campbell; James D. Spinhirne; V. Stanley Scott
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Paper Abstract

Long-term global radiation programs, such as AERONET and BSRN, have shown success in monitoring column averaged cloud and aerosol optical properties. Little attention has been focused on global measurements of vertically resolved optical properties. Lidar systems are the preferred instrument for such measurements. However, global usage of lidar systems has not been achieved because of limits imposed by older systems that were large, expensive, and logistically difficult to use in the field. Small, eye-safe, and autonomous lidar systems are now currently available and overcome problems associated with older systems. The first such lidar to be developed is the Micro-pulse lidar System (MPL). The MPL has proven to be useful in the field because it can be automated, runs continuously (day and night), is eye-safe, can easily be transported and set up, and has a small field-of-view which removes multiple scattering concerns. We have developed successful protocols to operate and calibrate MPL systems. We have also developed a data analysis algorithm that produces data products such as cloud and aerosol layer heights, optical depths, extinction profiles, and the extinction-backscatter ratio. The algorithm minimizes the use of a priori assumptions and also produces error bars for all data products. Here we present an overview of our MPL protocols and data analysis techniques. We also discuss the ongoing construction of a global MPL network in conjunction with the AERONET program. Finally, we present some early results from the MPL network.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4153, Lidar Remote Sensing for Industry and Environment Monitoring, (13 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417040
Show Author Affiliations
Ellsworth J. Welton, Univ. of Maryland/Baltimore County (United States)
James R. Campbell, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
James D. Spinhirne, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
V. Stanley Scott, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4153:
Lidar Remote Sensing for Industry and Environment Monitoring
Upendra N. Singh; Upendra N. Singh; Kazuhiro Asai; Toshikasu Itabe; Toshihiro Ogawa; Nobuo Sugimoto, Editor(s)

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