Airborne lidar for ocean-atmosphere studies and assessment of future satellite mission concepts

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 5:15 PM
Chris A Hostetler1, Johnathan W Hair1, Yongxiang Hu1, Michael J Behrenfeld2, Ivona Cetinic3, Carolyn F Butler4, Kathleen A Powell5, Richard Anthony Ferrare1, Sharon P Burton1, Brian Cairns6, Jacek Chowdhary7, Richard J Hare1, David B Harper1, Anthony L Cook1, Timothy Berkoff1, Terry L Mack8, Anthony Notari1 and Glenn A Woodell1, (1)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States, (3)University of Maine, Walpole, ME, United States, (4)Science Systems and Applications Inc., Hampton, VA, United States, (5)NASA, Hampton, VA, United States, (6)NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, United States, (7)Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States, (8)Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc., Hampton, VA, United States
Global estimates of phytoplankton biomass (Cphyto) and particulate organic carbon (POC) have traditionally been made using passive ocean color measurements. Recently, data from the CALIOP sensor on the CALIPSO satellite have provided the first measurements of these two key carbon cycle stocks from a space-based lidar. Although CALIOP was not designed for subsurface ocean retrievals, global distributions of Cphyto and POC retrieved with CALIOP compare well with independent assessments using MODIS passive ocean color data. This success suggests a potentially important future role for space lidar measurements in global ocean plankton research, particularly for a lidar system optimized for water column profiling. To this end, the NASA Langley airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) was recently modified for ocean research to provide independent vertically-resolved retrievals of the diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd) and particulate backscatter coefficient (bbp). The advanced HSRL has been deployed on three ocean-focused airborne field missions: a mission based in the Azores in October 2012, a CALIPSO validation mission based in Bermuda in June 2014, and the Ship-Aircraft Bio-Optical Research (SABOR) experiment based in Bermuda, New Hampshire, and Virginia in July-August of 2014. On the Azores and SABOR missions, the HSRL instrument acquired data coincident with ship-based optical measurements, and data were acquired along CALIOP tracks on all three missions. Results from the airborne HSRL and CALIOP studies will be described, along with a discussion of potential future aircraft campaigns, the scalability of the HSRL technique to space, and the value of simultaneously measuring plankton abundance, marine aerosol loading and optical properties, and cloud microphysical properties and albedo.