Aeolus L2A aerosol optical properties product: standard correct algorithm and Mie correct algorithm

Flament, Thomas ; Trapon, Dimitri ; Lacour, Adrien ; Dabas, Alain ; Ehlers, Frithjof ; Huber, Dorit

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<p align=justify>Aeolus carries the Atmospheric LAser Doppler INstrument (ALADIN), the first high-spectral-resolution lidar (HSRL) in space. Although ALADIN is optimized to measure winds, its two measurement channels can also be used to derive optical properties of atmospheric particles, including a direct retrieval of the lidar ratio. This paper presents the standard correct algorithm and the Mie correct algorithm, the two main algorithms of the optical properties product called the Level-2A product, as they are implemented in version 3.12 of the processor, corresponding to the data labelled Baseline 12. The theoretical basis is the same as in Flamant et al. (2008). Here, we also show the in-orbit performance of these algorithms. We also explain the adaptation of the calibration method, which is needed to cope with unforeseen variations of the instrument radiometric performance due to the in-orbit strain of the primary mirror under varying thermal conditions. Then we discuss the limitations of the algorithms and future improvements. We demonstrate that the L2A product provides valuable information about airborne particles; in particular, we demonstrate the capacity to retrieve a useful lidar ratio from Aeolus observations. This is illustrated using Saharan dust aerosol observed in June 2020.</p>
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