07 May 2024
 | 07 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Solar Background Radiation Temperature Calibration of a Pure Rotational Raman Lidar

Vasura Jayaweera, Robert J. Sica, Giovanni Martucci, and Alexander Haefele

Abstract. Raman lidars are an important tool for measuring important atmospheric parameters including water vapor content and temperature in the troposphere and stratosphere. These measurements enable climatology studies and trend analyses to be performed. To detect long-term trends it is critical to have as reliable and continuous as possible calibration of the system and monitoring of its associated uncertainties. Here we demonstrate a new methodology to derive calibration coefficients for a rotational temperature Raman lidar. We use solar background measurements taken by the rotational Raman channels of the Raman Lidar for Meteorological Observations (RALMO) located at the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss in Payerne, Switzerland, to calculate a relative calibration as a function of time, which is made an absolute calibration by requiring only a single external calibration, in our case with a single radiosonde flight. This approach was verified using an external time series of coincident radiosonde measurements. We employed the calibration technique on historical measurements that used a Licel data acquisition system and established a calibration time series spanning from 2011 to 2015 using both the radiosonde-based external and solar background-based internal methods. Our results show that using the background calibration technique reduces the mean bias of the calibration by an average of 0.2 K across the altitude range of 1 to 16 km compared to using the local radiosoundings. Furthermore, it demonstrates the background calibration’s ability to adjust and maintain continuous calibration values even amidst sudden system changes in the system, which sporadic external calibration could miss. This approach ensures that climatological averages and trends remain unaffected by the drift effects commonly associated with using daily operational radiosondes. It also allows a lidar not co-located with a routine external source to be continuously calibrated once an initial external calibration is done.

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Vasura Jayaweera, Robert J. Sica, Giovanni Martucci, and Alexander Haefele

Status: open (until 17 Jun 2024)

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Vasura Jayaweera, Robert J. Sica, Giovanni Martucci, and Alexander Haefele
Vasura Jayaweera, Robert J. Sica, Giovanni Martucci, and Alexander Haefele


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Short summary
Our study presents a new method, the solar background calibration method, which improves temperature determinations in rotational Raman lidar systems. By utilizing backgrounds solar radiation, this technique offers more continuous and reliable temperatures independent of external measuring instruments. This new method enhances our ability to monitor and understand atmospheric trends and their association to climate change with greater accuracy.