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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
06 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Depolarization measurements using the CANDAC Rayleigh-Mie-Raman Lidar at Eureka, Canada
Emily M. McCullough1,2,a, Robert J. Sica1, James R. Drummond2, Graeme Nott2,4,a, Christopher Perro2, Colin P. Thackray2, Jason Hopper2, Jonathan Doyle2, Thomas J. Duck2, and Kaley A. Walker3 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St., London, ON, N6A 3K7
2Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, 6310 Coburg Rd., PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS, B3H4R2
3Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A7
4Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements, Building 146, Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK
aIndicates present affiliation
Abstract. The Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) Rayleigh–Mie–Raman Lidar (CRL) at Eureka, Nunavut, has measured tropospheric clouds, aerosols, and water vapour since 2007. In remote and meteorologically significant locations, such as the Canadian High Arctic, the ability to add new measurement capability to an existing well-tested facility is extremely valuable. In 2010, linear depolarization 532 nm measurement hardware was installed in the lidar’s receiver. To reduce its impact on the existing, well-characterized lidar channels, the depolarization hardware was placed near the end of the receiver cascade. The upstream optics already in place were not optimized for preserving the polarization of received light. Calibrations and Mueller matrix calculations were used to determine and mitigate the contribution of these upstream optics on the depolarization measurements. The results show that with appropriate calibration, indications of cloud particle phase (ice vs. water) are now possible to precision within ± 20 % uncertainty at time and altitude resolutions of 5 min × 37.5 m, with higher precision and higher resolution possible in select cases. Monitoring changes in Arctic cloud composition, including particle phase, is essential for a complete understanding of the changing climate locally and globally.

Citation: McCullough, E. M., Sica, R. J., Drummond, J. R., Nott, G., Perro, C., Thackray, C. P., Hopper, J., Doyle, J., Duck, T. J., and Walker, K. A.: Depolarization measurements using the CANDAC Rayleigh-Mie-Raman Lidar at Eureka, Canada, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2017-76, in review, 2017.
Emily M. McCullough et al.
Emily M. McCullough et al.
Emily M. McCullough et al.


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Short summary
CRL lidar in the Canadian High Arctic uses lasers and a telescope to study polar clouds, essential for understanding the changing global climate. Hardware added to CRL allows it to measure the polarization of returned laser light, indicating whether cloud particles are liquid or frozen. Calibrations show that traditional analysis methods work well, although CRL was not originally set up to make this type of measurement. CRL can now measure cloud particle phase every 5 min, every 37.5 m, 24 h/day.
CRL lidar in the Canadian High Arctic uses lasers and a telescope to study polar clouds,...