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CALIPSO lidar calibration at 1064nm: version 4 algorithm

Abstract : Radiometric calibration of space-based elastic backscatter lidars is accomplished by comparing the measured backscatter signals to theoretically expected signals computed for some well-characterized calibration target. For any given system and wavelength, the choice of calibration target is dictated by several considerations, including signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and target availability. This paper describes the newly implemented procedures used to calibrate the 1064 nm measurements acquired by CALIOP (i.e., the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization), the two-wavelength (532 and 1064 nm) elastic backscatter lidar currently flying on the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission. CALIOP's 532 nm channel is accurately calibrated by normalizing the molecular backscatter from the uppermost aerosol-free altitudes of the CALIOP measurement region to molecular model data obtained from NASA's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. However, because CALIOP's SNR for molecular backscatter measurements is prohibitively lower at 1064 nm than at 532 nm, the direct high-altitude molecular normalization method is not a viable option at 1064 nm. Instead, CALIOP's 1064 nm channel is calibrated relative to the 532 nm channel using the backscatter from a carefully selected subset of cirrus cloud measurements. In this paper we deliver a full account of the revised 1064 nm calibration algorithms implemented for the version 4.1 (V4) release of the CALIPSO lidar data products, with particular emphases on the physical basis for the selection of “calibration quality” cirrus clouds and on the new averaging scheme required to characterize intra-orbit calibration variability. The V4 procedures introduce latitudinally varying changes in the 1064 nm calibration coefficients of 25 % or more, relative to previous data releases, and are shown to substantially improve the accuracy of the V4 1064 nm attenuated backscatter coefficients. By evaluating calibration coefficients derived using both water clouds and ocean surfaces as alternate calibration targets, and through comparisons to independent, collocated measurements made by airborne high spectral resolution lidar, we conclude that the CALIOP V4 1064 nm calibration coefficients are accurate to within 3 %.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 22, 2019 - 8:08:07 PM
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Mark Vaughan, Anne Garnier, Damien Josset, Melody Avery, Kam-Pui Lee, et al.. CALIPSO lidar calibration at 1064nm: version 4 algorithm. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, European Geosciences Union, 2019, 12 (1), pp.51-82. ⟨10.5194/amt-12-51-2019⟩. ⟨insu-01969341⟩

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