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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 4 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 2459-2475, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Apr 2018

Research article | 27 Apr 2018

Intercomparison of aerosol measurements performed with multi-wavelength Raman lidars, automatic lidars and ceilometers in the framework of INTERACT-II campaign

Fabio Madonna1, Marco Rosoldi1, Simone Lolli1, Francesco Amato1, Joshua Vande Hey2, Ranvir Dhillon2, Yunhui Zheng3, Mike Brettle4, and Gelsomina Pappalardo1 Fabio Madonna et al.
  • 1Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-IMAA), Italy
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Space Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 3Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, MD, USA
  • 4Campbell Scientific, Shepshed, UK

Abstract. Following the previous efforts of INTERACT (INTERcomparison of Aerosol and Cloud Tracking), the INTERACT-II campaign used multi-wavelength Raman lidar measurements to assess the performance of an automatic compact micro-pulse lidar (MiniMPL) and two ceilometers (CL51 and CS135) in providing reliable information about optical and geometric atmospheric aerosol properties. The campaign took place at the CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory (760m a. s. l. ; 40.60°N, 15.72°E) in the framework of ACTRIS-2 (Aerosol Clouds Trace gases Research InfraStructure) H2020 project. Co-located simultaneous measurements involving a MiniMPL, two ceilometers and two EARLINET multi-wavelength Raman lidars were performed from July to December 2016. The intercomparison highlighted that the MiniMPL range-corrected signals (RCSs) show, on average, a fractional difference with respect to those of CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory (CIAO) lidars ranging from 5 to 15% below 2.0kma.s.l. (above sea level), largely due to the use of an inaccurate overlap correction, and smaller than 5% in the free troposphere. For the CL51, the attenuated backscatter values have an average fractional difference with respect to CIAO lidars < 20–30% below 3km and larger above. The variability of the CL51 calibration constant is within ±46%. For the CS135, the performance is similar to the CL51 below 2.0km a. s. l. , while in the region above 3km a. s. l.  the differences are about ±40%. The variability of the CS135 normalization constant is within ±47%.

Finally, additional tests performed during the campaign using the CHM15k ceilometer operated at CIAO showed the clear need to investigate the CHM15k historical dataset (2010–2016) to evaluate potential effects of ceilometer laser fluctuations on calibration stability. The number of laser pulses shows an average variability of 10% with respect to the nominal power which conforms to the ceilometer specifications. Nevertheless, laser pulses variability follows seasonal behavior with an increase in the number of laser pulses in summer and a decrease in winter. This contributes to explain the dependency of the ceilometer calibration constant on the environmental temperature hypothesized during INTERACT.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The accurate monitoring of climate based on the use of low-cost and low-maintenance automatic system represents one of the challenges for the scientific community and instrument manufacturers for the next decade. In the frame of two experiments, INTERACT and INTERACT-II, taking place at CIAO (CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory) in Tito Scalo, Potenza, Italy, commercial low-cost lidars have been compared with advanced lidar systems to assess their performances.
The accurate monitoring of climate based on the use of low-cost and low-maintenance automatic...