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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Feb 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

EARLINET evaluation of the CATS L2 aerosol backscatter coefficient product

Emmanouil Proestakis1, Vassilis Amiridis1, Eleni Marinou2, Ioannis Binietoglou3, Albert Ansmann4, Ulla Wandinger4, Julian Hofer4, John Yorks5, Edward Nowottnick6, Abduvosit Makhmudov7, Alexandros Papayannis8, Aleksander Pietruczuk9, Anna Gialitaki1, Arnoud Apituley10, Artur Szkop9, Constantino Muñoz Porcar11, Daniele Bortoli12, Davide Dionisi13, Dietrich Althausen4, Dimitra Mamali14, Dimitris Balis15, Doina Nicolae3, Eleni Tetoni2, Gian Luigi Liberti13, Holger Baars4, Ina Mattis16, Iwona Stachlewska17, Kalliopi Artemis Voudouri15, Lucia Mona18, Maria Mylonaki8, Maria Rita Perrone19,20, Maria João Costa12, Michael Sicard11,21, Nikolaos Papagiannopoulos11,18, Nikolaos Siomos15, Pasquale Burlizzi19,20, Rebecca Pauly22, Ronny Engelmann4, Sabur Abdullaev7, and Gelsomina Pappalardo18 Emmanouil Proestakis et al.
  • 1IAASARS, National Observatory ofAthens, Athens, 15236, Greece
  • 2Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 3National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics, Magurele, Romania
  • 4Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 5NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
  • 6GESTAR, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
  • 7Physical Technical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • 8Laser Remote Sensing Unit (LRSU), National Technical University of Athens Physics Department, Zografou, Greece
  • 9Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 01-452 Warsaw, Poland
  • 10Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 11CommSensLab, Dept. of Signal Theory and Communications, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • 12Departamento de Física, Instituto de Ciências da Terra, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
  • 13Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR), Rome-Tor Vergata, Italy
  • 14Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, TU Delft, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 15Laboratory of atmospheric physics, Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 16Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, German Weather Service, Hohenpeissenberg, Germany
  • 17Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw (IGFUW), 02-093 Warsaw, Poland
  • 18Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche,Istituto di Metodologie per l’Analisi Ambientale (CNR-IMAA), C. da S. Loja, Tito Scalo (PZ), 85050, Italy
  • 19Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy
  • 20CNISM-Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze Fisiche della Materia, Lecce, Italy
  • 21Ciències i Tecnologies de l'Espai-Centre de Recerca de l'Aeronàutica i de l'Espai/Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (CTE-CRAE/IEEC), Spain
  • 22Science Systems and Applications Inc., Lanham, 20706, USA

Abstract. We present the evaluation activity of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) for the quantitative assessment of the Level 2 aerosol backscatter coefficient product derived by the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The study employs correlative CATS and EARLINET backscatter measurements within 50 km distance between the ground station and the ISS overpass and as close in time as possible, typically within 90 min, from February 2015 to September 2016. The results demonstrate the good agreement of CATS Level 2 backscatter coefficient and EARLINET. Three ISS overpasses close to the EARLINET stations of Leipzig-Germany, Évora-Portugal and Dushanbe-Tajikistan are analysed here to demonstrate the performance of CATS lidar system under different conditions. The results show that under cloud-free, relative homogeneous aerosol conditions CATS is in good agreement with EARLINET, independently of daytime/nighttime conditions. CATS low negative biases, partially attributed to the deficiency of lidar systems to detect tenuous aerosol layers of backscatter signal below the minimum detection thresholds, may lead to systematic deviations and slight underestimations of the total Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) in climate studies. In addition, CATS misclassification of aerosol layers as clouds, and vice versa, in cases of coexistent and/or adjacent aerosol and cloud features, may lead to non-representative, unrealistic and cloud contaminated aerosol profiles. The distributions of backscatter coefficient biases show the relatively good agreement between the CATS and EARLINET measurements, although on average underestimations are observed, 22.3 % during daytime and 6.1 % during nighttime.

Emmanouil Proestakis et al.
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Emmanouil Proestakis et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In order to increase the accuracy and validate satellite-based products comparison with ground-based reference observations is required. In that direction, we present the evaluation activity of EARLINET for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of NASA's CATS lidar operating onboard the ISS while identified discrepancies are discussed. The better understanding of CATS performance and limitations provides a valuable basis for scientific studies implementing the satellite-based lidar system.
In order to increase the accuracy and validate satellite-based products comparison with...