Comparisons of Airborne HSRL and Modeled Aerosol Profiles
Abstract:Aerosol profiles derived from a regional and a global model are compared with aerosol profiles acquired by NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidars (HSRLs) during recent field missions. We compare simulated aerosol profiles obtained from the WRF-Chem regional model with those measured by the airborne HSRL-2 instrument over the Atlantic Ocean east of Cape Cod in July 2012 during the Department of Energy Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP). While deployed on the LaRC King Air during TCAP, HSRL-2 acquired profiles of aerosol extinction at 355 and 532 nm, as well as aerosol backscatter and depolarization at 355, 532, and 1064 nm. Additional HSRL-2 data products include profiles of aerosol type, mixed layer depth, and aerosol microphysical parameters (e.g. effective radius, concentration). The HSRL-2 and WRF-Chem aerosol profiles are compared along the aircraft flight tracks.
HSRL-2 profiles acquired during the NASA Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from COlumn and VERtically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) mission over Houston during September 2013 are compared with the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System global model, version 5 (GEOS-5) profiles. In addition to comparing backscatter and extinction profiles, the fraction of aerosol extinction and optical thickness from various aerosol species from GEOS-5 are compared with aerosol extinction and optical thickness contributed by aerosol types derived from HSRL-2 data.
We also compare aerosol profiles modeled by GEOS-5 with those measured by the airborne LaRC DIAL/HSRL instrument during August and September 2013 when it was deployed on the NASA DC-8 for the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) mission. DIAL/HSRL measured extinction (532 nm), backscatter (532 and 1064 nm), and depolarization profiles (532 and 1064 nm) in both nadir and zenith directions during long transects over the continental United States. DIAL/HSRL measurements acquired during SEAC4RS allow comparisons with GEOS-5 simulations of forest fire smoke over the western U.S. The fraction of aerosol extinction attributed to dust derived from the DIAL/HSRL depolarization measurements are compared with the corresponding GEOS-5 dust simulations.