Lidar measurements can provide a great deal of information about the structure, location, and scattering properties of cirrus clouds. However, caution must be used when interpreting raw lidar backscatter profiles in terms of relative or absolute extinction distribution, internal cloud structure, and, at times, cloud location. The problem arises because the signal measured from a range by any monostatic lidar system depends on the backscatter cross section at that range and the 2-way optical thickness to the scattering volume. Simple lidar systems, however, produce only one measurement of attenuated backscatter from each range. The general FIRE research community is given aid in interpretation of lidar measurements, and the special capabilities of the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) is explained. Some examples are given of conditions under which direct interpretation of cirrus cloud morphology from simple lidar profiles could be misleading.
METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
NASA, Langley Research Center, FIRE Science Results 1988; p 177-181