A key piece of information that is not provided by currently operating observational satellites is the altitude of aerosol layers in the atmosphere. Aerosols confined to the lowest part of the atmosphere are likely to be removed quickly by rain. On the other hand, those that are transported to higher altitudes are much more likely to travel long distances and affect air quality in distant countries. CALIPSO provides this vital missing piece of information by LIDAR measurements from space.

Example result


Satellite: CALIPSO
Instrument(s): CALIOP
Instrument/algorithm PI: Dave Winker, NASA
Contact details: David.M.Winker[at]
Parameter(s): AOD, layer height and thickness, extinction profile, aerosol type
Aerosol algorithm: CALIPSO Level 2 Aerosol
Cloud screening: CALIPSO Level 2 Clouds
Aerosol model: CALIOP lidar ratio models
Retrieval assumptions: lidar ratio associated with each aerosol type
Retrieval limitations: retrieve aerosol only within detected layers
Spatial, temporal coverage: 2006-present/ archival, day + night, global
Spatial, temporal resolution: 5km / 1-pixel swath / 16-day repeat cycle
Operations status: operational
Validation status: preliminary
Quality control: via quality flags, uncertainties
last algorithm version: V2.02 (10/2008), V3.01 (03/2010)
last validation: N/A