A new high spectral resolution lidar technique for direct retrievals of cloud and aerosol extinction

Monday, 15 December 2014: 1:40 PM
John E Yorks1, Matthew J McGill2 and Dennis L Hlavka1, (1)SSAI/NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard SFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The Airborne Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (ACATS) is a Doppler lidar system and high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL) recently developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). ACATS passes the returned atmospheric backscatter through a single etalon and divides the transmitted signal into several channels (wavelength intervals), which are measured simultaneously and independently (Figure 1). Both the particulate and molecular scattered signal can be directly and unambiguously measured, allowing for direct retrievals of particle extinction. The broad Rayleigh-scattered spectrum is imaged as a nearly flat background, illustrated in Figure 1c. The integral of the particulate backscattered spectrum is analogous to the aerosol measurement from the typical absorption filter HSRL technique in that the molecular and particulate backscatter components can be separated (Figure 1c and 1d). The main difference between HSRL systems that use the iodine filter technique and the multichannel etalon technique used in the ACATS instrument is that the latter directly measures the spectral broadening of the particulate backscatter using the etalon to filter out all backscattered light with the exception of a narrow wavelength interval (1.5 picometers for ACATS) that contains the particulate spectrum (grey, Figure 1a).

This study outlines the method and retrieval algorithms for ACATS data products, focusing on the HSRL derived cloud and aerosol properties. While previous ground-based multi-channel etalon systems have been built and operated for wind retrievals, there has been no airborne demonstration of the technique and the method has not been used to derive HSRL cloud and aerosol properties. ACATS has flown on the NASA ER-2 during flights over Alaska in July 2014 and as part of the Wallops Airborne Vegetation Experiment (WAVE) in September 2012. This study will focus on the HSRL aspect of the ACATS instrument, since the method and retrieval algorithms have direct application to the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) to be installed on the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2014. Initial ACATS HSRL results and data products, as well as comparisons to coincident Cloud Physics Lidar data will be presented.