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Information content of bistatic lidar observations of aerosols from space

Alexandrov, M. D., and M. Mishchenko (2017), Information content of bistatic lidar observations of aerosols from space, Optics Express, 25, A134-A150.

We present, for the first time, a quantitative retrieval error-propagation study for a bistatic high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL) system intended for detailed quasi-global monitoring of aerosol properties from space. Our results demonstrate that supplementing a conventional monostatic HSRL with an additional receiver flown in formation at a scattering angle close to 165◦ dramatically increases the information content of the measurements and allows for a sufficiently accurate characterization of tropospheric aerosols. We conclude that a bistatic HSRL system would far exceed the capabilities of currently flown or planned orbital instruments in monitoring global aerosol effects on the environment and on the Earth’s climate. We also demonstrate how the commonly used a priori “regularization” methodology can artificially reduce the propagated uncertainties and can thereby be misleading as to the real retrieval capabilities of a measurement system.  c 2017 Optical Society of America

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)