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Aerosol backscatter measurements at 10.6 microns with airborne and ground-based CO2 Doppler lidars over the Colorado High Plains. I - Lidar intercomparisonAn airborne continuous-wave (CW) focused CO2 Doppler lidar and a ground-based pulsed CO2 Doppler lidar were to obtain seven pairs of comparative measurements of tropospheric aerosol backscatter profiles at 10.6-micron wavelength, near Denver, Colorado, during a 20-day period in July 1982. In regions of uniform backscatter, the two lidars show good agreement, with differences usually less than about 50 percent near 8-km altitude and less than a factor of 2 or 3 elsewhere but with the pulsed lidar often lower than the CW lidar. Near sharp backscatter gradients, the two lidars show poorer agreement, with the pulsed lidar usually higher than the CW lidar. Most discrepancies arise from a combination of atmospheric factors and instrument factors, particularly small-scale areal and temporal backscatter heterogeneity above the planetary boundary layer, unusual large-scale vertical backscatter structure in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and differences in the spatial resolution, detection threshold, and noise estimation for the two lidars.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Bowdle, David A.
(Alabama, University Huntsville, United States)
Rothermel, Jeffry
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Vaughan, J. Michael
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Brown, Derek W.
(Royal Signals and Radar Establishment Malvern, United Kingdom)
Post, Madison J.
(NOAA, Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
March 20, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 96
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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