Related Research Areas
Atmospheric Composition

The Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor (APS) is scheduled to launch on the Glory satellite in early 2010. APS holds the promise for providing significantly more accurate measurements of aerosol properties than those available from the current generation of satellite-based sensors, especially over land where passive techniques are challenged by spatially and temporally variable surface reflectances. Observations from APS will provide a global aerosol data set that is unprecedented in terms of information content and accuracy. These products will be used to assess both aerosol direct and indirect climate forcing effects, as well as test and improve chemical transport models. It is therefore important to validate these products and investigate how APS data can be used, along with data from other sensors, to provide greater accuracy and/or higher information content. Our objectives are to: evaluate APS aerosol retrieval algorithms, investigate combined active-passive retrievals using data from APS and the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument on the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite, and validate APS aerosol data products. In addition to using on-orbit data from APS and CALIOP to meet these objectives, we will use data from two airborne instruments: the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) and the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL). The RSP instrument is the airborne prototype for APS, and data from it are currently being used by the GISS team to develop and evaluate APS retrieval algorithms. The HSRL provides the same measurements made by the CALIOP lidar on CALIPSO but also has important additional capabilities that make it particularly useful for assessing APS algorithms and combined APS-CALIPSO retrievals. These two instruments have flown together on the LaRC King Air B200 aircraft on two recent field campaigns and are scheduled to fly on several future campaigns. (We are not requesting funding for field activities; the future flights of the aircraft instruments are being funded by other programs.) The data sets acquired from these instruments will be used as proxies for APS and CALIOP data for assessment and improvement of APS and combined APS-CALIOP aerosol retrieval algorithms. In addition, data from future flights conducted after Glory launches will be used to validate APS data products. With respect to APS and the Glory Mission, the impact of this research will be improved understanding of APS aerosol product uncertainties and the development and assessment of joint APS-CALIOP retrieval algorithms that will reduce APS aerosol product uncertainties. With respect to CALIPSO, the impact will be improvement in the accuracy of CALIOP profile products via joint CALIOP-APS extinction retrievals. This project will also benefit the Aerosol Clouds and Ecosystems (ACE) mission recommended in the NRC Decadal Survey by providing useful analyses on the information content in and value of combined lidar-polarimeter retrievals.

Project PI: Chris Hostetler/NASA Langley Research Center

325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305

Phone: (757)864-5373



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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