Articles | Volume 6, issue 12
Research article
09 Dec 2013
Research article |  | 09 Dec 2013

0.355-micrometer direct detection wind lidar under testing during a field campaign in consideration of ESA's ADM-Aeolus mission

S. Lolli, A. Delaval, C. Loth, A. Garnier, and P. H. Flamant

Abstract. The atmospheric wind field information is a key issue to numerical weather prediction (NWP) and climate studies. The Atmospheric Dynamic Mission-Aeolus is currently developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch a wind sensing Doppler lidar in mid-2015. The high spectral resolution lidar concept is using backscattered laser signals from molecules and particles to provide accurate horizontal wind velocity measurements in the depth of atmosphere. The Aeolus lidar, so-called ALADIN, will operate in UV at 0.355 μm. The combination of air molecules and UV laser light is intended to provide wind data evenly distributed everywhere in the lower atmosphere (below 30 km altitude). The goal of the ESA's Aeolus mission is to enhance the present meteorological observations system over sparse wind data regions, and more importantly to provide direct wind information in the tropics where no geostrophic wind can be derived from mass fields obtained from passive radiometer satellite. The 0.355 μm lidar concept was under testing during a field campaign conducted at the Haute-Provence Observatory, France, in 1999. Several active remote sensors were deployed on the site, and it was the opportunity to address the self-consistency of wind measurements made by different lidars, a 72 MHz radar, and conventional balloon radio soundings. The paper presents the comparison of different remote sensors using two criteria: Pearson cross-correlation coefficient and root mean square error. The methodology discussed here may be useful in future ESA Aeolus validation campaigns involving different kinds of instruments.