LIVAS: a 3-D multi-wavelength aerosol/cloud database based on CALIPSO and EARLINET
Abstract. We present LIVAS (LIdar climatology of Vertical Aerosol Structure for space-based lidar simulation studies), a 3-D multi-wavelength global aerosol and cloud optical database, optimized to be used for future space-based lidar end-to-end simulations of realistic atmospheric scenarios as well as retrieval algorithm testing activities. The LIVAS database provides averaged profiles of aerosol optical properties for the potential spaceborne laser operating wavelengths of 355, 532, 1064, 1570 and 2050 nm and of cloud optical properties at the wavelength of 532 nm. The global database is based on CALIPSO observations at 532 and 1064 nm and on aerosol-type-dependent backscatter- and extinction-related Ångström exponents, derived from EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network) ground-based measurements for the UV and scattering calculations for the IR wavelengths, using a combination of input data from AERONET, suitable aerosol models and recent literature. The required spectral conversions are calculated for each of the CALIPSO aerosol types and are applied to CALIPSO backscatter and extinction data corresponding to the aerosol type retrieved by the CALIPSO aerosol classification scheme. A cloud optical database based on CALIPSO measurements at 532 nm is also provided, neglecting wavelength conversion due to approximately neutral scattering behavior of clouds along the spectral range of LIVAS. Averages of particle linear depolarization ratio profiles at 532 nm are provided as well. Finally, vertical distributions for a set of selected scenes of specific atmospheric phenomena (e.g., dust outbreaks, volcanic eruptions, wild fires, polar stratospheric clouds) are analyzed and spectrally converted so as to be used as case studies for spaceborne lidar performance assessments. The final global data set includes 4-year (1 January 2008–31 December 2011) time-averaged CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) data on a uniform grid of 1° × 1° with the original high vertical resolution of CALIPSO in order to ensure realistic simulations of the atmospheric variability in lidar end-to-end simulations.