First Airborne IPDA Lidar Measurements of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Applying the DLR Greenhouse Gas Sounder CHARM-F
Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 11:10
3012 (Moscone West)
First airborne measurement using CHARM-F, the four-wavelengths lidar for simultaneous soundings of atmospheric CO2 and CH4, were performed in Spring 2015 onboard the German research aircraft HALO. The lidar is designed in the IPDA (integrated path differential absorption) configuration using short double pulses, which gives column averaged gas mixing ratios between aircraft and ground. HALO’s maximum flight altitude of 15 km and special features of the lidar, such as a relatively large laser ground spot, enable the CHARM-F system to be an airborne demonstrator for future spaceborne greenhouse gas lidars. Due to a high technological conformity this applies in particular to the French-German satellite mission MERLIN, the spaceborne methane IPDA lidar. The successfully completed flight measurements provide a valuable dataset, which supports the retrieval algorithm development for MERLIN notably. The flights covered different ground cover types, different orography types as well as the sea. Additionally, we captured different cloud conditions, at which the broken cloud case is a matter of particular interest. This dataset allows detailed analyses of measurement sensitivities, general studies on the IPDA principle and on technical details of the system. These activities are supported by another instrument onboard: a cavity ring down spectrometer, providing in-situ data of carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor with high accuracy and precision, which is ideal for validation purposes of the lidar. Additionally the onboard instrumentation of HALO gives information about pressure and temperature for cross-checking the ECMWF data, which are intended to be used for calculating the weighting function, the key quantity for the retrieval of gas column mixing ratios from the measured gas optical depths. In combination with dedicated descents into the boundary layer and subsequent ascents, a self-contained dataset for characterizations of CHARM-F is available.