Articles | Volume 6, issue 11
Research article
07 Nov 2013
Research article |  | 07 Nov 2013

Effects of systematic and random errors on the retrieval of particle microphysical properties from multiwavelength lidar measurements using inversion with regularization

D. Pérez-Ramírez, D. N. Whiteman, I. Veselovskii, A. Kolgotin, M. Korenskiy, and L. Alados-Arboledas

Abstract. In this work we study the effects of systematic and random errors on the inversion of multiwavelength (MW) lidar data using the well-known regularization technique to obtain vertically resolved aerosol microphysical properties. The software implementation used here was developed at the Physics Instrumentation Center (PIC) in Troitsk (Russia) in conjunction with the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Its applicability to Raman lidar systems based on backscattering measurements at three wavelengths (355, 532 and 1064 nm) and extinction measurements at two wavelengths (355 and 532 nm) has been demonstrated widely. The systematic error sensitivity is quantified by first determining the retrieved parameters for a given set of optical input data consistent with three different sets of aerosol physical parameters. Then each optical input is perturbed by varying amounts and the inversion is repeated. Using bimodal aerosol size distributions, we find a generally linear dependence of the retrieved errors in the microphysical properties on the induced systematic errors in the optical data. For the retrievals of effective radius, number/surface/volume concentrations and fine-mode radius and volume, we find that these results are not significantly affected by the range of the constraints used in inversions. But significant sensitivity was found to the allowed range of the imaginary part of the particle refractive index. Our results also indicate that there exists an additive property for the deviations induced by the biases present in the individual optical data. This property permits the results here to be used to predict deviations in retrieved parameters when multiple input optical data are biased simultaneously as well as to study the influence of random errors on the retrievals. The above results are applied to questions regarding lidar design, in particular for the spaceborne multiwavelength lidar under consideration for the upcoming ACE mission.