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Global Monitoring of Clouds and Aerosols Using a Network of Micro-Pulse Lidar SystemsLong-term global radiation programs, such as AERONET and BSRN, have shown success in monitoring column averaged cloud and aerosol optical properties. Little attention has been focused on global measurements of vertically resolved optical properties. Lidar systems are the preferred instrument for such measurements. However, global usage of lidar systems has not been achieved because of limits imposed by older systems that were large, expensive, and logistically difficult to use in the field. Small, eye-safe, and autonomous lidar systems are now currently available and overcome problems associated with older systems. The first such lidar to be developed is the Micro-pulse lidar System (MPL). The MPL has proven to be useful in the field because it can be automated, runs continuously (day and night), is eye-safe, can easily be transported and set up, and has a small field-of-view which removes multiple scattering concerns. We have developed successful protocols to operate and calibrate MPL systems. We have also developed a data analysis algorithm that produces data products such as cloud and aerosol layer heights, optical depths, extinction profiles, and the extinction-backscatter ratio. The algorithm minimizes the use of a priori assumptions and also produces error bars for all data products. Here we present an overview of our MPL protocols and data analysis techniques. We also discuss the ongoing construction of a global MPL network in conjunction with the AERONET program. Finally, we present some early results from the MPL network.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Welton, Ellsworth J.
(Maryland Univ. Baltimore County Catonsville, MD United States)
Campbell, James R.
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD United States)
Spinhirne, James D.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Scott, V. Stanley
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 26, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Lidar Remote Sensing for Industry and Environment Monitoring
Volume: 4153
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
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