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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: This paper presents a detailed description of LIRIC (LIdar-Radiometer Inversion Code)algorithm for simultaneous processing of coincident lidar and radiometric (sun photometric) observations for the retrieval of the aerosol concentration vertical profiles. As the lidar radiometric input data we use measurements from European Aerosol Re-search Lidar Network (EARLINET) lidars and collocated sun-photometers of Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). The LIRIC data processing provides sequential inversion of the combined lidar and radiometric data by the estimations of column-integrated aerosol parameters from radiometric measurements followed by the retrieval of height-dependent concentrations of fine and coarse aerosols from lidar signals using integrated column characteristics of aerosol layer as a priori constraints. The use of polarized lidar observations allows us to discriminate between spherical and non-spherical particles of the coarse aerosol mode. The LIRIC software package was implemented and tested at a number of EARLINET stations. Inter-comparison of the LIRIC-based aerosol retrievals was performed for the observations by seven EARLNET lidars in Leipzig, Germany on 25 May 2009. We found close agreement between the aerosol parameters derived from different lidars that supports high robustness of the LIRIC algorithm. The sensitivity of the retrieval results to the possible reduction of the available observation data is also discussed.
    Keywords: General
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN41272 , Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (ISSN 1867-8610); 9; 3; 12759–12822
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-11-20
    Description: In this paper we describe the EARLINET Single Calculus Chain (SCC), a tool for the automatic analysis of lidar measurements. The development of this tool started in the framework of EARLINET-ASOS (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network – Advanced Sustainable Observation System); it was extended within ACTRIS (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network), and it is continuing within ACTRIS-2. The main idea was to develop a data processing chain that allows all EARLINET stations to retrieve, in a fully automatic way, the aerosol backscatter and extinction profiles starting from the raw lidar data of the lidar systems they operate. The calculus subsystem of the SCC is composed of two modules: a pre-processor module which handles the raw lidar data and corrects them for instrumental effects and an optical processing module for the retrieval of aerosol optical products from the pre-processed data. All input parameters needed to perform the lidar analysis are stored in a database to keep track of all changes which may occur for any EARLINET lidar system over the time. The two calculus modules are coordinated and synchronized by an additional module (daemon) which makes the whole analysis process fully automatic. The end user can interact with the SCC via a user-friendly web interface. All SCC modules are developed using open-source and freely available software packages. The final products retrieved by the SCC fulfill all requirements of the EARLINET quality assurance programs on both instrumental and algorithm levels. Moreover, the manpower needed to provide aerosol optical products is greatly reduced and thus the near-real-time availability of lidar data is improved. The high-quality of the SCC products is proven by the good agreement between the SCC analysis, and the corresponding independent manual retrievals. Finally, the ability of the SCC to provide high-quality aerosol optical products is demonstrated for an EARLINET intense observation period.
    Print ISSN: 1867-1381
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8548
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2015-12-07
    Description: This paper presents a detailed description of LIRIC (LIdar-Radiometer Inversion Code) algorithm for simultaneous processing of coincident lidar and radiometric (sun photometric) observations for the retrieval of the aerosol concentration vertical profiles. As the lidar/radiometric input data we use measurements from European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) lidars and collocated sun-photometers of Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). The LIRIC data processing provides sequential inversion of the combined lidar and radiometric data by the estimations of column-integrated aerosol parameters from radiometric measurements followed by the retrieval of height-dependent concentrations of fine and coarse aerosols from lidar signals using integrated column characteristics of aerosol layer as a priori constraints. The use of polarized lidar observations allows us to discriminate between spherical and non-spherical particles of the coarse aerosol mode. The LIRIC software package was implemented and tested at a number of EARLINET stations. Intercomparison of the LIRIC-based aerosol retrievals was performed for the observations by seven EARLNET lidars in Leipzig, Germany on 25 May 2009. We found close agreement between the aerosol parameters derived from different lidars that supports high robustness of the LIRIC algorithm. The sensitivity of the retrieval results to the possible reduction of the available observation data is also discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8610
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-07-01
    Description: In the framework of ACTRIS summer 2012 measurement campaign (8 June–17 July 2012), EARLINET organized and performed a controlled exercise of feasibility to demonstrate its potential to perform operational, coordinated measurements and deliver products in near-real time. Eleven lidar stations participated to the exercise which started on 9 July 2012 at 06:00 UT and ended 72 h later on 12 July at 06:00 UT. For the first time the Single-Calculus Chain (SCC), the common calculus chain developed within EARLINET for the automatic evaluation of lidar data from raw signals up to the final products, was used. All stations sent in real time measurements of 1 h of duration to the SCC server in a predefined netcdf file format. The pre-processing of the data was performed in real time by the SCC while the optical processing was performed in near-real time after the exercise ended. 98 and 84 % of the files sent to SCC were successfully pre-processed and processed, respectively. Those percentages are quite large taking into account that no cloud screening was performed on lidar data. The paper shows time series of continuous and homogeneously obtained products retrieved at different levels of the SCC: range-square corrected signals (pre-processing) and daytime backscatter and nighttime extinction coefficient profiles (optical processing), as well as combined plots of all direct and derived optical products. The derived products include backscatter- and extinction-related Ångström exponents, lidar ratios and color ratios. The combined plots reveal extremely valuable for aerosol classification. The efforts made to define the measurements protocol and to configure properly the SCC pave the way for applying this protocol for specific applications such as the monitoring of special events, atmospheric modelling, climate research and calibration/validation activities of spaceborne observations.
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8610
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-04-08
    Description: Systematic measurements of dust concentration profiles at continental scale were recently made possible by the development of synergistic retrieval algorithms using combined lidar and sun photometer data and the establishment of robust remote-sensing networks in the framework of Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network (ACTRIS)/European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET). We present a methodology for using these capabilities as a tool for examining the performance of dust transport models. The methodology includes considerations for the selection of a suitable dataset and appropriate metrics for the exploration of the results. The approach is demonstrated for four regional dust transport models (BSC-DREAM8b v2, NMMB/BSC-DUST, DREAMABOL, DREAM8-NMME-MACC) using dust observations performed at 10 ACTRIS/EARLINET stations. The observations, which include coincident multi-wavelength lidar and sun photometer measurements, were processed with the Lidar-Radiometer Inversion Code (LIRIC) to retrieve aerosol concentration profiles. The methodology proposed here shows advantages when compared to traditional evaluation techniques that utilize separately the available measurements such as separating the contribution of dust from other aerosol types on the lidar profiles and avoiding model assumptions related to the conversion of concentration fields to aerosol extinction values. When compared to LIRIC retrievals, the simulated dust vertical structures were found to be in good agreement for all models with correlation values between 0.5 and 0.7 in the 1 to 6 km range, where most of dust is typically observed. The absolute dust concentration was typically underestimated with mean bias values of −40 to −20 μg m−3 at 2 km, the altitude of maximum mean concentration. The reported differences among the models found in this comparison indicate the benefit of the systematic use of the proposed approach in future dust model evaluation studies.
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8610
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2014-07-03
    Description: With the establishment of ceilometer networks by national weather services, a discussion commenced to which extent these simple backscatter lidars can be used for aerosol research. Though primarily designed for the detection of clouds it was shown that at least observations of the vertical structure of the boundary layer might be possible. However, an assessment of the potential of ceilometers for the quantitative retrieval of aerosol properties is still missing. In this paper we discuss different retrieval methods to derive the aerosol backscatter coefficient βp, with special focus on the calibration of the ceilometers. Different options based on forward and backward integration methods are compared with respect to their accuracy and applicability. It is shown that advanced lidar systems such as those being operated in the framework of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) are excellent tools for the calibration, and thus βp retrievals based on forward integration can readily be implemented and used for real-time applications. Furthermore, we discuss uncertainties introduced by incomplete overlap, the unknown lidar ratio, and water vapor absorption. The latter is relevant for the very large number of ceilometers operating in the spectral range around λ = 905–910 nm. The accuracy of the retrieved βp mainly depends on the accuracy of the calibration and the long-term stability of the ceilometer. Under favorable conditions, a relative error of βp on the order of 10% seems feasible. In the case of water vapor absorption, corrections assuming a realistic water vapor distribution and laser spectrum are indispensable; otherwise errors on the order of 20% could occur. From case studies it is shown that ceilometers can be used for the reliable detection of elevated aerosol layers below 5 km, and can contribute to the validation of chemistry transport models, e.g., the height of the boundary layer. However, the exploitation of ceilometer measurements is still in its infancy, so more studies are urgently needed to consolidate the present state of knowledge, which is based on a limited number of case studies.
    Print ISSN: 1867-1381
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8548
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2015-11-02
    Description: In the framework of ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure Network) summer 2012 measurement campaign (8 June–17 July 2012), EARLINET organized and performed a controlled exercise of feasibility to demonstrate its potential to perform operational, coordinated measurements and deliver products in near-real time. Eleven lidar stations participated in the exercise which started on 9 July 2012 at 06:00 UT and ended 72 h later on 12 July at 06:00 UT. For the first time, the single calculus chain (SCC) – the common calculus chain developed within EARLINET for the automatic evaluation of lidar data from raw signals up to the final products – was used. All stations sent in real-time measurements of a 1 h duration to the SCC server in a predefined netcdf file format. The pre-processing of the data was performed in real time by the SCC, while the optical processing was performed in near-real time after the exercise ended. 98 and 79 % of the files sent to SCC were successfully pre-processed and processed, respectively. Those percentages are quite large taking into account that no cloud screening was performed on the lidar data. The paper draws present and future SCC users' attention to the most critical parameters of the SCC product configuration and their possible optimal value but also to the limitations inherent to the raw data. The continuous use of SCC direct and derived products in heterogeneous conditions is used to demonstrate two potential applications of EARLINET infrastructure: the monitoring of a Saharan dust intrusion event and the evaluation of two dust transport models. The efforts made to define the measurements protocol and to configure properly the SCC pave the way for applying this protocol for specific applications such as the monitoring of special events, atmospheric modeling, climate research and calibration/validation activities of spaceborne observations.
    Print ISSN: 1867-1381
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8548
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2015-09-04
    Description: Systematic measurements of dust concentration profiles at a continental scale were recently made possible by the development of synergistic retrieval algorithms using combined lidar and sun photometer data and the establishment of robust remote-sensing networks in the framework of Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network (ACTRIS)/European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET). We present a methodology for using these capabilities as a tool for examining the performance of dust transport models. The methodology includes considerations for the selection of a suitable data set and appropriate metrics for the exploration of the results. The approach is demonstrated for four regional dust transport models (BSC-DREAM8b v2, NMMB/BSC-DUST, DREAMABOL, DREAM8-NMME-MACC) using dust observations performed at 10 ACTRIS/EARLINET stations. The observations, which include coincident multi-wavelength lidar and sun photometer measurements, were processed with the Lidar-Radiometer Inversion Code (LIRIC) to retrieve aerosol concentration profiles. The methodology proposed here shows advantages when compared to traditional evaluation techniques that utilize separately the available measurements such as separating the contribution of dust from other aerosol types on the lidar profiles and avoiding model assumptions related to the conversion of concentration fields to aerosol extinction values. When compared to LIRIC retrievals, the simulated dust vertical structures were found to be in good agreement for all models with correlation values between 0.5 and 0.7 in the 1–6 km range, where most dust is typically observed. The absolute dust concentration was typically underestimated with mean bias values of -40 to -20 μg m−3 at 2 km, the altitude of maximum mean concentration. The reported differences among the models found in this comparison indicate the benefit of the systematic use of the proposed approach in future dust model evaluation studies.
    Print ISSN: 1867-1381
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8548
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2014-05-21
    Description: This paper presents a new application of assimilating lidar signals to aerosol forecasting. It aims at investigating the impact of a ground-based lidar network on analysis and short-term forecasts of aerosols through a case study in the Mediterranean. To do so, we employ a data assimilation (DA) algorithm based on the optimal interpolation method developed in the chemistry transport model (CTM) {Polair3D of the air quality modelling platform POLYPHEMUS. We assimilate hourly-averaged normalised range corrected lidar signals (PR2) retrieved from a 72 h period of intensive and continuous measurements performed in July 2012 by ground-based lidar systems of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) integrated into the Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network (ACTRIS) and an additional system in Corsica deployed in the framework of the pre-ChArMEx (Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment)/TRAQA (TRAnsport à longue distance et Qualité de l'Air) campaign. This lidar campaign was dedicated to demonstrating the potential operationality of a research network like EARLINET and the potential usefulness of assimilation of lidar signals to aerosol forecasts. Particles with an aerodynamic diameter lower than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and those with an aerodynamic diameter higher than 2.5 μm but lower than 10 μm (PM2.5–10) are analysed separately using the lidar observations at each DA step. First, we study the spatial and temporal influences of the assimilation of lidar signals on aerosol forecasting. We conduct sensitivity studies on algorithmic parameters, e.g. the horizontal correlation length (Lh) used in the background error covariance matrix (50 km, 100 km or 200 km), the altitudes at which DA is performed (0.75–3.5 km, 1.0–3.5 km or 1.5–3.5 km a.g.l.) and the assimilation period length (12 h or 24 h). We find that DA with Lh = 100 km and assimilation from 1.0 to 3.5 km a.g.l. during a 12 h assimilation period length leads to the best scores for PM10 and PM2.5 during the forecast period with reference to available measurements from surface networks. Secondly, the aerosol simulation results without and with lidar DA using the optimal parameters (Lh
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-11-06
    Description: The CALIPSO Level 3 (CL3) product, available since December 2011, is the most recent data set produced by the observations of the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument onboard the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) space platform. The European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET), based mainly on multi-wavelength Raman lidar systems, is the most appropriate ground-based reference for CALIPSO calibration/validation studies on a continental scale. In this work, CALIPSO data are compared against EARLINET monthly averaged profiles obtained by measurements performed during CALIPSO overpasess. In order to mitigate uncertainties due to spatial and temporal differences, we reproduce a modified version of CL3 data starting from CALIPSO Level 2 (CL2) data. The spatial resolution is finer and nearly 2° × 2° (latitude × longitude) and only simultaneous measurements are used for ease of comparison. The CALIPSO monthly mean profiles following this approach are called CALIPSO Level 3*, CL3*. We find good agreement on the aerosol extinction coefficient, yet in most of the cases a small CALIPSO underestimation is observed with an average bias of 0.02 km−1 up to 4 km and 0.003 km−1 higher above. In contrast to CL3 standard product, CL3* data set offers the possibility to assess the CALIPSO performance also in terms of the particle backscatter coefficient keeping the same quality assurance criteria applied to extinction profiles. The mean relative difference in the comparison improved from 26.1 % for extinction to 13.7 % for backscatter, showing better performances of CALIPSO backscatter retrievals. Additionally, the aerosol typing comparison yielded a robust identification of Dust and Polluted Dust. Moreover, the CALIPSO aerosol-type-dependent lidar ratio selection is assessed by means of EARLINET observations, so as to investigate the performance of the extinction retrievals. The aerosol types of Dust, Polluted Dust, and Clean Continental showed noticeable discrepancy. Finally, the potential improvements of the lidar ratio assignment have been examined by adjusting it according to EARLINET derived values.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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