Lidar Value-Added Product Provides Cloud Measurements

Published: 16 August 2011

Sample plot generated by MPLCMASK. Click to enlarge.

Lidar cloud boundaries are a useful tool for identifying cloud base height and cloud thickness in optically thin clouds. The Micropulse Lidar Cloud Mask (MPLCMASK) value-added product (VAP) provides cloud base height, cloud top height, and backscatter coefficient for non-polarized micropulse lidar measurements. In addition, depolarization ratio is computed for polarized and fast-switching micropulse lidar systems.

The MPLCMASK VAP is used as input to the Active Remote Sensing of Clouds (ARSCL) VAP, which further combines the output of MPLCMASK with ARM vertically pointing radar reflectivity and ceilometer cloud base heights to provide a more complete cloud mask.

This VAP processes data for the Southern Great Plains, North Slope of Alaska, Tropical Western Pacific, and ARM Mobile Facility sites.

More information on MPLCMASK is available at the VAP web page. To access these data, log in to the Data Archive. (Go here to request an account.)