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15 December 1995 Potential contributions of a backscatter lidar to climatological studies
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The benefit of a spaceborne backscatter lidar for studies on clouds and aerosols is discussed. Based on the technical and orbital parameters as planned for the European atmospheric lidar ('ATLID') the potential to detect optically thin clouds and aerosol layers, to contribute to cloud climatologies and to derive optical properties, e.g. the extinction coefficient, was investigated. It was found out that under favorable conditions even very thin cirrus clouds (extinction coefficient alphap approximately equal to 0.05 km -1) can be identified by ATLID. Radiatively relevant ice clouds can be detected in any case. Caused by multiple scattering the detection of clouds below a cirrus layer is also possible. As a consequence, and according to the good spatial sampling, it is expected that ATLID will provide useful data for cloud climatologies. The determination of optical depths however seems to be difficult. Improvements of the present aerosol database can be anticipated at least in case of stratospheric layers and medium turbid planetary boundary layers. It is recommended to further investigate the benefit gained from the joint exploitation of different sensors such as a backscatter lidar, a cloud radar and imagers.
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Matthias Wiegner, Albert Ansmann, Claudia Kahler, Jorg Ackermann, and Ulla Wandinger "Potential contributions of a backscatter lidar to climatological studies", Proc. SPIE 2581, Lidar Techniques for Remote Sensing II, (15 December 1995);

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