EARLINET Single Calculus Chain – technical – Part 2: Calculation of optical products
Abstract. In this paper we present the automated software tool ELDA (EARLINET Lidar Data Analyzer) for the retrieval of profiles of optical particle properties from lidar signals. This tool is one of the calculus modules of the EARLINET Single Calculus Chain (SCC) which allows for the analysis of the data of many different lidar systems of EARLINET in an automated, unsupervised way. ELDA delivers profiles of particle extinction coefficients from Raman signals as well as profiles of particle backscatter coefficients from combinations of Raman and elastic signals or from elastic signals only. Those analyses start from pre-processed signals which have already been corrected for background, range dependency and hardware specific effects. An expert group reviewed all algorithms and solutions for critical calculus subsystems which are used within EARLINET with respect to their applicability for automated retrievals. Those methods have been implemented in ELDA. Since the software was designed in a modular way, it is possible to add new or alternative methods in future. Most of the implemented algorithms are well known and well documented, but some methods have especially been developed for ELDA, e.g., automated vertical smoothing and temporal averaging or the handling of effective vertical resolution in the case of lidar ratio retrievals, or the merging of near-range and far-range products. The accuracy of the retrieved profiles was tested following the procedure of the EARLINET-ASOS algorithm inter-comparison exercise which is based on the analysis of synthetic signals. Mean deviations, mean relative deviations, and normalized root-mean-square deviations were calculated for all possible products and three height layers. In all cases, the deviations were clearly below the maximum allowed values according to the EARLINET quality requirements.