Automated compact mobile Raman lidar for water vapor measurement: instrument description and validation by comparison with radiosonde, GNSS, and high-resolution objective analysis

Sakai, Tetsu; Nagai, Tomohiro; Izumi, Toshiharu; Yoshida, Satoru; Shoji, Yoshinori

We developed an automated compact mobile Raman lidar (MRL) system for measuring the vertical distribution of the water vapor mixing ratio (inline-formulaw) in the lower troposphere, which has an affordable cost and is easy to operate. The MRL was installed in a small trailer for easy deployment and can start measurement in a few hours, and it is capable of unattended operation for several months. We describe the MRL system and present validation results obtained by comparing the MRL-measured data with collocated radiosonde, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and high-resolution objective analysis data. The comparison results showed that MRL-derived inline-formulaw agreed within 10 % (root-mean-square difference of 1.05 inline-formulag kg−1) with values obtained by radiosonde at altitude ranges between 0.14 and 1.5 inline-formulakm in the daytime and between 0.14 and 5–6 inline-formulakm at night in the absence of low clouds; the vertical resolution of the MRL measurements was 75–150 inline-formulam, their temporal resolution was less than 20 inline-formulamin, and the measurement uncertainty was less than 30 %. MRL-derived precipitable water vapor values were similar to or slightly lower than those obtained by GNSS at night, when the maximum height of MRL measurements exceeded 5 inline-formulakm. The MRL-derived inline-formulaw values were at most 1 inline-formulag kg−1 (25 %) larger than local analysis data. A total of 4 months of continuous operation of the MRL system demonstrated its utility for monitoring water vapor distributions in the lower troposphere.

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Sakai, Tetsu / Nagai, Tomohiro / Izumi, Toshiharu / et al: Automated compact mobile Raman lidar for water vapor measurement: instrument description and validation by comparison with radiosonde, GNSS, and high-resolution objective analysis. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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