Sensitivity of depolarized lidar signals to cloud and aerosol particle...

You, Y., G. W. Kattawar, P. Yang, Y. Hu, and B. A. Baum (2006), Sensitivity of depolarized lidar signals to cloud and aerosol particle properties, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 100, 470-482, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2005.11.058.

Measurements from depolarized lidars provide a promising method to retrieve both cloud and aerosol properties and a versatile complement to passive satellite-based sensors. For lidar observations of clouds and aerosols, multiple scattering plays an important role in the scattering process. Monte Carlo simulations are carried out to investigate the sensitivity of lidar backscattering depolarization to cloud and aerosol properties. Lidar parameters are chosen to be similar to those of the upcoming space-based CALIPSO lidar. Cases are considered that consist of a single cloud or aerosol layer, as well as a case in which cirrus clouds overlay different types of aerosols. It is demonstrated that besides thermodynamic cloud phase, the depolarized lidar signal may provide additional information on ice or aerosol particle shapes. However, our results show little sensitivity to ice or aerosol particle sizes. Additionally, for the case of multiple but overlapping layers involving both clouds and aerosols, the depolarized lidar contains information that can help identify the particle properties of each layer.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)