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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-274
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-274
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 19 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 19 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Rayleigh wind retrieval for the ALADIN airborne demonstrator of the Aeolus mission using simulated response calibration

Xiaochun Zhai1,2, Uwe Marksteiner1, Fabian Weiler1, Christian Lemmerz1, Oliver Lux1, Benjamin Witschas1, and Oliver Reitebuch1 Xiaochun Zhai et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen 82234, Germany
  • 2Ocean University of China, College of Information Science and Engineering, Ocean Remote Sensing Institute, Qingdao 266100, China

Abstract. Aeolus, launched on August 22nd in 2018, is the first ever satellite to directly observe wind information from the surface up to 30 km on a global scale. An airborne prototype called ALADIN Airborne Demonstrator (A2D) was developed at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) for validating the Aeolus measurement principle based on realistic atmospheric signals. To obtain accurate wind retrievals, the A2D uses a measured Rayleigh response calibration (MRRC) to calibrate its Rayleigh channel signals. However, the atmospheric and instrumental variability currently limit the reliability and repeatability of this MRRC. Thus, a procedure for a simulated Rayleigh response calibration (SRRC) is developed and presented in this paper to resolve these limitations of the A2D Rayleigh channel MRRC. The transmission functions of the A2D Rayleigh channel interferometer, consisting of the double-edge Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs), are firstly characterised and optimized based on measurements performed during different airborne and ground-based campaigns. The optimized FPI transmission function is then combined with the molecular Rayleigh backscatter spectrum to derive an accurate A2D SRRC which can finally be implemented in the A2D wind retrieval. Using dropsonde data as a reference, a statistical analysis based on data from a flight campaign in 2016 reveals a bias and a standard deviation of line-of-sight (LOS) wind speeds derived from an SRRC of only 0.05 m s−1 and 2.52 m s−1, respectively. Compared to the result derived from a MRRC with a bias of 0.23 m s−1 and a standard deviation of 2.20 m s−1, the accuracy improved while the precision is considered to be at the same level. Furthermore, it is shown that SRRC allows the simulation of receiver responses over the whole altitude range from the aircraft down to sea level, thus overcoming limitations due to continuous ground elevation during the performance of airborne instrument response calibrations.

Xiaochun Zhai et al.
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Xiaochun Zhai et al.
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Short summary
An airborne prototype called A2D was developed for validating the Aeolus measurement principle based on realistic atmospheric signals. However, the atmospheric and instrumental variability currently limit the reliability and repeatability of the measured Rayleigh response calibration (MRRC), which is a prerequisite for accurate wind retrieval. A procedure for a simulated Rayleigh response calibration is developed and presented to resolve these limitations of the A2D Rayleigh channel MRRC.
An airborne prototype called A2D was developed for validating the Aeolus measurement principle...
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