Remedy 1: Improve the coverage, metrological characterisation, and operational capabilities of Raman lidars

Primary gap remedy type: 
Secondary gap remedy type: 
Proposed remedy description: 

A first step would be to identify existing Raman lidar measuring aerosol properties globally and then subsequently study the representativeness of each station in the characterization of aerosol variability in a range of different vertical atmospheric regions. This would allow the identification of those priority climatic regions where additional multi-wavelength Raman lidars are required and taking advantage of existing lidar station which are not operating a Raman lidar yet.

To make such activities sustainable and operational at the a global scale, many further steps are needed including:

  1. Establishment of mechanisms for regular communication between networks (under GAW coordination);

  2. Developing an agreement on a shared/common metadata access portal and automatic product calculation;
  3. Improving the metrological characterisation of many systems (e.g. existing assessments indicate some potential systematic errors in the aerosol characterisation)

  4. Developing common harmonised methodologies, data quality objectives, quality assurance/quality control procedures across measurement frameworks to the extent possible;

  5. Performing frequent intercomparison activities.

A complete remedy for this gap is strongly related to the strategies of the international research institutions which are at present the key players in the deployment and the operation of Raman lidar measurements. A well-defined strategy implementing integration of aerosol measurement capabilities on continental or larger scales will result in clear benefits such as improved data access and availability, improved comparability of data, more uniform data quality standards from different networks, increased synergy of measurements and prevention of unnecessary duplication.

Commercial lidars or ceilometers will benefit of an improved metrological characterization, with a consequent impact of the ingestion of massive higher quality data from low-cost monitoring systems in real-time within weather numerical models. 

Measurable outcome of success: 

This is obviously related to the establishment of multi-wavelength Raman lidars in those regions where a lack of lidar instruments is identified by a study of representativeness of the existing measurements of aerosol properties. Such study also allows a rationalization of the required investments. 

Expected viability for the outcome of success: 
  • Medium
Scale of work: 
  • Single institution
  • Consortium
Time bound to remedy: 
  • Less than 5 years
Indicative cost estimate (investment): 
  • Medium cost (< 5 million)
Indicative cost estimate (exploitation): 
  • Yes
Potential actors: 
  • National funding agencies
  • ESA, EUMETSAT or other space agency
  • Academia, individual research institutes