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Comparisons of LASE, aircraft, and satellite measurements of aerosol optical properties and water vapor during TARFOX

Author: Ferrare, R. · Ismail, S. · Browell, E. · Brackett, V. · Kooi, S. · Clayton, M. · Hobbs, P.V. · Hartley, S. · Veefkind, J.P. · Russell, P. · Livingston, J. · Tanré, D. · Hignett, P.
Institution: TNO Fysisch en Elektronisch Laboratorium
Source:Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, D8, 105, 9935-9947
Identifier: 235529
doi: doi:10.1029/1999JD901201
Keywords: Aerosol property · Optical property · Water vapor


We examine aerosol extinction and optical thickness from the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE), the in situ nephelometer and absorption photometer on the University of Washington C-131A aircraft, and the NASA Ames Airborne Tracking Sun Photometer (AATS-6) on the C-131A measured during the Tropospheric Aerosol Radiative Forcing Observational Experiment (TARFOX) over the east coast of the United States in July 1996. On July 17 and 24 the LASE profiles of aerosol extinction and aerosol optical thickness (AOT) had a bias difference of 0.0055 km-1 (10%) and a root-mean-square difference of 0.026 km-1 (42%) when compared to corresponding profiles derived from the airborne in situ data when the nephelometer measurements are adjusted to ambient relative humidities. Larger differences for two other days were associated with much smaller aerosol optical thicknesses (July 20) and differences in the locations sampled by the two aircraft (July 26). LASE profiles of AOT are about 10% higher than those derived from the airborne Sun photometer, which in turn are about 10-15% higher than those derived from the airborne in situ measurements. These differences are generally within the error estimates of the various measurements. The LASE measurements of AOT generally agree with AOT derived from both the Along-Track and Scanning Radiometer 2 (ATSR 2) sensor flown on the European Remote Sensing Satellite 2 (ERS-2) and from the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) airborne simulator (MAS) which flew with LASE on the NASA ER-2 aircraft. Effective particle sizes derived from the MAS data indicate that the LASE retrievals of AOT are valid for effective particle radii less than 0.4 μm. Variations in the relative humidity derived from the LASE water vapor measurements on July 26 are found to be highly correlated with variations in the effective particle size derived from the MAS. Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.