Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar Measurements of Aerosol Distributions and Properties during the NASA DISCOVER-AQ Missions
Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 09:00
3010 (Moscone West)
The NASA Langley Research Center airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidars, HSRL-1 and HSRL-2, were deployed for the DISCOVER-AQ (Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from COlumn and VERtically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality) missions. DISCOVER-AQ provided systematic and concurrent observations of column‐integrated, surface, and vertically‐resolved distributions of aerosols and trace gases to improve the interpretation of satellite observations related to air quality. HSRL-1, deployed during the first DISCOVER-AQ mission over the Washington DC-Baltimore region, measured profiles of aerosol backscatter and depolarization (532, 1064 nm) and aerosol extinction and optical thickness (AOT) (532 nm). HSRL-2, the first airborne multiwavelength HSRL, was deployed for the following three DISCOVER-AQ missions over the California Central Valley, Houston, and Denver. HSRL-2 measures profiles of aerosol backscatter and depolarization (355, 532, 1064 nm) and aerosol extinction and AOT (355, 532 nm). Additional HSRL-2 data products include aerosol type, mixed layer depth, and range-resolved aerosol microphysical parameters. The HSRL measurements reveal the temporal, spatial, and vertical variability of aerosol optical properties over these locations. HSRL measurements show that surface PM2.5 concentrations were better correlated with near surface aerosol extinction than AOT scaled by the mixed layer height. During the missions over Washington DC-Baltimore, Houston, and Denver, only about 20-65% of AOT was within the mixed layer. In contrast, nearly all of the AOT was within the mixed layer over the California Central Valley. HSRL-2 retrievals of aerosol fine mode volume concentration and effective radius compare well with coincident airborne in situ measurements and vary with relative humidity. HSRL‑2 retrievals of aerosol fine mode volume concentration were also used to derive PM2.5 concentrations which compare well with surface PM2.5 measurements.