Abstract

Lidar backscatter signatures from model water clouds are calculated for CO2 lidar wavelengths (9.2—10.8 μm) using Mie theory. The lidar isotropic mass backscatter coefficient is found to be quite variable both with cloud model and with wavelength, with values ranging from ~90 to 15 g−1 cm2 at 9.2-μm wavelength and from 25 to 5 g−1 cm2 at 11 μm, there being a general decrease in values with increasing wavelength. The cloud isotropic backscatter-to-extinction ratio similarly varies with both wavelength and cloud model between extreme values of 0.14 and 0.008. It is found that the cloud mass extinction coefficient has a value at any wavelength which is independent of cloud model droplet size distribution to within ~10% accuracy, in agreement with other studies. The value of this quantity varies from 1929 g−1 cm2 at 9.2 μm to 1258 g−1 cm2 at 11.0 μm. If the isotropic volume backscatter coefficient and the isotropic backscatter-to-extinction ratio are measured by lidar, then using the above characteristics of mass extinction coefficient the cloud liquid water content can be measured at any wavelength to an accuracy of ~20% when the cloud optical depth is between 0 and 0.5, with an increasing error with increasing cloud optical depth. Using the relationship between cloud droplet mode radius and backscatter-to-extinction ratio, the mode radius can be determined to ~10% accuracy. Multiple scattering in the backscattered beam for the case of absorbing water clouds at CO2 wavelengths is also considered. The cloud depth to which accurate information can be retrieved in typical water clouds varies from ~80 to 250 m depending on the wavelength and the cloud model, although some information is available to depths of 500 m in some clouds.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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