Amediek, A, Fix, A, Ehret, G, Caron, J, Durand, Y (2009). Airborne lidar reflectance measurements at 1.57 mu m in support of the A-SCOPE mission for atmospheric CO2. ATMOSPHERIC MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES, 2(2), 755-772.
The characteristics of the lidar reflectance of the Earth's surface is an important issue for the IPDA lidar technique (integrated path differential absorption lidar) which is the proposed method for the spaceborne measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide within the framework of ESA's A-SCOPE project. Both, the absolute reflectance of the ground and its variations have an impact on the measurement sensitivity. The first aspect influences the instrument's signal to noise ratio, the second one can lead to retrieval errors, if the ground reflectance changes are strong on small scales. The investigation of the latter is the main purpose of this study. Airborne measurements of the lidar ground reflectance at 1.57 mu m wavelength were performed in Central and Western Europe, including many typical land surface coverages as well as the open sea. The analyses of the data show, that the lidar ground reflectance is highly variable on a wide range of spatial scales. However, by means of the assumption of laser footprints in the order of several tens of meters, as planned for spaceborne systems, and by means of an averaging of the data it was shown, that this specific retrieval error is well below 1 ppm (CO2 column mixing ratio), and so compatible with the sensitivity requirements of spaceborne CO2 measurements. Several approaches for upscaling the data in terms of the consideration of larger laser footprints, compared to the one used here, are shown and discussed. Furthermore, the collected data are compared to MODIS ground reflectance data.