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

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© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
05 Jul 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Study and mitigation of calibration error sources in a water vapor Raman lidar
Leslie David1, Olivier Bock1, Christian Thom2, Pierre Bosser3, and Jacques Pelon4 1IGN LAREG Univ Paris Diderot, Paris, France
2IGN LOEMI, Saint-Mandé, France
3ENSTA Bretagne, Lab-STICC, France
4CNRS IPSL LATMOS, Paris, France
Abstract. A detailed investigation of calibration variation sources in the instrumental part of the detection-fibered, water vapor Raman lidar, Rameau, is presented. This lidar has been developed by the Institut National de l'Information Géographique et Forestière (IGN) together with the Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS) and aims at calibrating GNSS wet delay signals and thus at improving vertical positioning. Several measurements campaigns enabled to validate the capacity of the instrument to retrieve high accuracy water vapor measurements. However, in order to insure a good stability, regular calibrations were necessary and led us to seek for instability sources in each sub-system of the instrument. The calibration variations are shown to be induced by fiber mode fluctuations and spatial non-uniformity of the photomultiplier photocathodes, and are responsible for significant calibration coefficient drifts. Such drifts are incompatible with both the long term stability required for applications such as climatology and the absolute accuracy needed for wet path delay correction of GNSS signals. We show by means of experimental tests that variation sources can be mitigated by means of an optimization and re-design of the optical detection system, a careful alignment procedure, and the operational monitoring of the system with dedicated measurements. In order to validate the modifications of the system and the new procedure, measurements were repeated over a period of 5 months. The detection subsystem stability was monitored from lidar profiles measured with a unique nitrogen filter used for detecting the signal in the two measurement channels. Compared to the previous campaign (Development of Methodologies for Water Vapor Measurement, Demevap), we observe an improvement in the stability of the system based on the nitrogen measurements which showed a drift of less than 3 % per month and a standard deviation of about 3 % during the campaign. The water vapor calibration coefficients were determined from capacitive humidity sensor measurements and from GPS zenith wet delays measurements. They show a similar small drift of 3 % per month and a standard deviation of ~ 6 %. Thanks to the N2 measurements, the drift can be completely removed. Lower standard deviation can be achieved by increasing the Signal to Noise Ratio and/or spatial and temporal integration window.

Citation: David, L., Bock, O., Thom, C., Bosser, P., and Pelon, J.: Study and mitigation of calibration error sources in a water vapor Raman lidar, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, in review, 2016.
Leslie David et al.
Leslie David et al.


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Latest update: 26 Jul 2017
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The Raman lidar ability to retrieve atmospheric water vapor with high accuracy makes it a premium instrument in different research fields such as climatology, meteorology or calibration of GNSS altimetry data. In order to achieve long term stability of the measurements, the system has to be carefully calibrated. In this work we strove to investigate and mitigate the error and instability sources, through numerical simulations as well as experimental tests.
The Raman lidar ability to retrieve atmospheric water vapor with high accuracy makes it a...