Aerosol retrievals from CALIPSO lidar ocean surface returns

Srikanth L. Venkata, John A. Reagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper describes approaches to retrieve important aerosol results from the strong lidar return signals that are received by the space-borne CALIPSO lidar system after reflecting off-ocean surfaces. Relations, from which the theoretically expected values of area under ocean surface returns can be computed, are presented. A detailed description of the lidar system response to the ocean surface returns and the processes of sampling and averaging of lidar return signals are provided. An effective technique that reconstructs the lidar response to surface returns-starting from down-linked samples-and calculates the area under it, has been developed and described. The calculated area values are validated after comparing them to their theoretically predicted counterpart values. Methods to retrieve aerosol optical depths (AODs) from these calculated areas are described and retrieval results are presented, including retrieval comparison with independent AOD measurements made by an airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) that yielded quite good agreement. Techniques and results are also presented on using the spectral ratios of the surface response areas to determine spectral ratios of aerosol round-trip transmission and AOD spectral difference, without need of a specific/accurate ocean-surface reflectance model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1006
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Aerosol transmittance
  • Lidar
  • Ocean surface reflectance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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