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Volume 17, issue 19 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 11861-11876, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-11861-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Oct 2017

Research article | 09 Oct 2017

Near-real-time processing of a ceilometer network assisted with sun-photometer data: monitoring a dust outbreak over the Iberian Peninsula

Alberto Cazorla1,2, Juan Andrés Casquero-Vera1,2, Roberto Román1,2, Juan Luis Guerrero-Rascado1,2, Carlos Toledano3, Victoria E. Cachorro3, José Antonio G. Orza4, María Luisa Cancillo5,6, Antonio Serrano5,6, Gloria Titos7, Marco Pandolfi7, Andres Alastuey7, Natalie Hanrieder8, and Lucas Alados-Arboledas1,2 Alberto Cazorla et al.
  • 1Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research, IISTA-CEAMA, University of Granada, Junta de Andalucía, Granada, Spain
  • 2Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  • 3Grupo de Óptica Atmosférica (GOA), Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
  • 4SCOLAb, Física Aplicada, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain
  • 5Department of Physics, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain
  • 6Institute of Water Research, Climate Change and Sustainability, IACYS, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain
  • 7Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 8German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Solar Research, Plataforma Solar de Almería, Almería, Spain

Abstract. The interest in the use of ceilometers for optical aerosol characterization has increased in the last few years. They operate continuously almost unattended and are also much less expensive than lidars; hence, they can be distributed in dense networks over large areas. However, due to the low signal-to-noise ratio it is not always possible to obtain particle backscatter coefficient profiles, and the vast number of data generated require an automated and unsupervised method that ensures the quality of the profiles inversions.

In this work we describe a method that uses aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements from the AERONET network that it is applied for the calibration and automated quality assurance of inversion of ceilometer profiles. The method is compared with independent inversions obtained by co-located multiwavelength lidar measurements. A difference smaller than 15% in backscatter is found between both instruments. This method is continuously and automatically applied to the Iberian Ceilometer Network (ICENET) and a case example during an unusually intense dust outbreak affecting the Iberian Peninsula between 20 and 24 February 2016 is shown. Results reveal that it is possible to obtain quantitative optical aerosol properties (particle backscatter coefficient) and discriminate the quality of these retrievals with ceilometers over large areas. This information has a great potential for alert systems and model assimilation and evaluation.

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This work presents a method for the calibration and automated quality assurance of inversion of ceilometer profiles that is applied to the Iberian Ceilometer Network (ICENET). A cast study during an unusually intense dust outbreak affecting the Iberian Peninsula is shown. Results reveal that it is possible to obtain a quantitative optical aerosol characterization with ceilometers over large areas, and this information has a great potential for alert systems and model assimilation and evaluation.
This work presents a method for the calibration and automated quality assurance of inversion of...
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