Articles | Volume 8, issue 7
Research article
21 Jul 2015
Research article |  | 21 Jul 2015

Retrieval of aerosol backscatter and extinction from airborne coherent Doppler wind lidar measurements

F. Chouza, O. Reitebuch, S. Groß, S. Rahm, V. Freudenthaler, C. Toledano, and B. Weinzierl

Abstract. A novel method for calibration and quantitative aerosol optical property retrieval from Doppler wind lidars (DWLs) is presented in this work. Due to the strong wavelength dependence of the atmospheric molecular backscatter and the low sensitivity of the coherent DWLs to spectrally broad signals, calibration methods for aerosol lidars cannot be applied to coherent DWLs usually operating at wavelengths between 1.5 and 2 μm. Instead, concurrent measurements of an airborne DWL at 2 μm and the POLIS ground-based aerosol lidar at 532 nm are used in this work, in combination with sun photometer measurements, for the calibration and retrieval of aerosol backscatter and extinction profiles at 532 nm.

The proposed method was applied to measurements from the SALTRACE experiment in June–July 2013, which aimed at quantifying the aerosol transport and change in aerosol properties from the Sahara desert to the Caribbean. The retrieved backscatter and extinction coefficient profiles from the airborne DWL are within 20 % of POLIS aerosol lidar and CALIPSO satellite measurements. Thus the proposed method extends the capabilities of coherent DWLs to measure profiles of the horizontal and vertical wind towards aerosol backscatter and extinction profiles, which is of high benefit for aerosol transport studies.