Characterization of atmospheric aerosol optical properties based on the combined use of a ground-based Raman lidar and an airborne optical particle counter in the framework of the Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment – Special Observation Period 1
Vertical profiles of the particle backscattering coefficient at 355, 532 and 1064 nm measured by the University of Basilicata Raman lidar system (BASIL) have been compared with simulated particle backscatter profiles obtained through a Mie scattering code based on the use of simultaneous and almost co-located profiles provided by an airborne optical particle counter. Measurements were carried out during dedicated flights of the French research aircraft ATR42 in the framework of the European Facility for Airborne Research (EUFAR) project “WaLiTemp”, as part of the Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment – Special Observation Period 1 (HyMeX-SOP1). Results from two selected case studies are reported and discussed in the paper, and a dedicated analysis approach is illustrated and applied to the dataset. Results reveal a good agreement between measured and simulated multi-wavelength particle backscattering profiles. Specifically, simulated and measured particle backscattering profiles at 355 and 532 nm for the second case study are found to deviate less than 15 % (mean value =5.9 %) and 50 % (mean value =25.9 %), respectively, when considering the presence of a continental–urban aerosol component, while slightly larger deviation values are found for the first study. The reported good agreement between measured and simulated multi-wavelength particle backscatter profiles testifies to the ability of multi-wavelength Raman lidar systems to infer aerosol types at different altitudes.