Assessment of the CALIPSO Lidar 532 nm attenuated backscatter calibration using the NASA LaRC airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar
- NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
Abstract. The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument on the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) spacecraft has provided global, high-resolution vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds since it became operational on 13 June 2006. On 14 June 2006, the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) was deployed aboard the NASA Langley B-200 aircraft for the first of a series of 86 underflights of the CALIPSO satellite to provide validation measurements for the CALIOP data products. To better assess the range of conditions under which CALIOP data products are produced, these validation flights were conducted under both daytime and nighttime lighting conditions, in multiple seasons, and over a large range of latitudes and aerosol and cloud conditions. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of the CALIOP 532 nm calibration (through the 532 nm total attenuated backscatter) using internally calibrated airborne HSRL underflight data and is the most extensive study of CALIOP 532 nm calibration. Results show that HSRL and CALIOP 532 nm total attenuated backscatter agree on average within 2.7% ± 2.1% (CALIOP lower) at night and within 2.9% ± 3.9% (CALIOP lower) during the day, demonstrating the accuracy of the CALIOP 532 nm calibration algorithms. Additionally, comparisons with HSRL show consistency of the CALIOP calibration before and after the laser switch in 2009 as well as improvements in the daytime version 3.01 calibration scheme compared with the version 2 calibration scheme. Potential biases and uncertainties in the methodology relevant to validating satellite lidar measurements with an airborne lidar system are discussed and found to be less than 4.5% ± 3.2% for this validation effort with HSRL. Results from this study are also compared with prior assessments of the CALIOP 532 nm attenuated backscatter calibration.