EARLINET Single Calculus Chain – technical – Part 2: Calculation of optical products

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München : European Geopyhsical Union

In this paper we present the automated software tool ELDA (EARLINET Lidar Data Analyzer) for the retrieval of profiles of optical particle properties from lidar signals. This tool is one of the calculus modules of the EARLINET Single Calculus Chain (SCC) which allows for the analysis of the data of many different lidar systems of EARLINET in an automated, unsupervised way. ELDA delivers profiles of particle extinction coefficients from Raman signals as well as profiles of particle backscatter coefficients from combinations of Raman and elastic signals or from elastic signals only. Those analyses start from pre-processed signals which have already been corrected for background, range dependency and hardware specific effects. An expert group reviewed all algorithms and solutions for critical calculus subsystems which are used within EARLINET with respect to their applicability for automated retrievals. Those methods have been implemented in ELDA. Since the software was designed in a modular way, it is possible to add new or alternative methods in future. Most of the implemented algorithms are well known and well documented, but some methods have especially been developed for ELDA, e.g., automated vertical smoothing and temporal averaging or the handling of effective vertical resolution in the case of lidar ratio retrievals, or the merging of near-range and far-range products. The accuracy of the retrieved profiles was tested following the procedure of the EARLINET-ASOS algorithm inter-comparison exercise which is based on the analysis of synthetic signals. Mean deviations, mean relative deviations, and normalized root-mean-square deviations were calculated for all possible products and three height layers. In all cases, the deviations were clearly below the maximum allowed values according to the EARLINET quality requirements. The primary goal of ELPP is to enable the application of quality-assured procedures in the lidar data analysis starting from the raw lidar data. This provides the added value of full traceability of each delivered lidar product.

Several tests have been performed to check the proper functioning of ELPP. The whole SCC has been tested with the same synthetic data sets, which were used for the EARLINET algorithm inter-comparison exercise. ELPP has been successfully employed for the automatic near-real-time pre-processing of the raw lidar data measured during several EARLINET inter-comparison campaigns as well as during intense field campaigns.

algorithm, backscatter, data quality, hardware, lidar, numerical method, resolution, signal, signal processing, smoothing, software
Mattis, I., D’Amico, G., Baars, H., Amodeo, A., Madonna, F., & Iarlori, M. (2016). EARLINET Single Calculus Chain – technical – Part 2: Calculation of optical products. 9(7). https://doi.org//10.5194/amt-9-3009-2016
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