Analysis of Raman lidar and radiosonde measurements from the AWEX-G field campaign and its relation to Aqua validation



[1] Early work within the Aqua validation activity revealed there to be large differences in water vapor measurement accuracy among the various technologies in use for providing validation data. The validation measurements were made at globally distributed sites making it difficult to isolate the sources of the apparent measurement differences among the various sensors, which included both Raman lidar and radiosonde. Because of this, the AIRS Water Vapor Experiment–Ground (AWEX-G) was held in October-November 2003 with the goal of bringing validation technologies to a common site for intercomparison and resolving the measurement discrepancies. Using the University of Colorado Cryogenic Frostpoint Hygrometer (CFH) as the water vapor reference, the AWEX-G field campaign permitted correction techniques to be validated for Raman lidar, Vaisala RS80-H and RS90/92 that significantly improve the absolute accuracy of water vapor measurements from these systems particularly in the upper troposphere. Mean comparisons of radiosondes and lidar are performed demonstrating agreement between corrected sensors and the CFH to generally within 5% thereby providing data of sufficient accuracy for Aqua validation purposes. Examples of the use of the correction techniques in radiance and retrieval comparisons are provided and discussed.