One of the main issues in research and satellite validation is the integration of data collected by the different networks. Among all observation techniques, lidar is especially useful to provide surface and vertical characterization of aerosol optical and physical properties.

The main scope of this project is to foster the exchange of expertise between the European (EARLINET) and South American (LALINET) lidar networks, and demonstrate the capability of joint research, setting the groundwork for GALION and the future Cal/Val of ESA’s atmospheric satellite missions.

EARLINET has become in the recent years a reference network for Europe using well-defined data processing protocols and well-documented inter-calibration procedures. As part of this activity, its quality assurance program (hardware and software) will be implemented at selected LALINET stations.

The harmonization of standard operation procedures between EARLINET and LALINET is the first step towards an operational global lidar network, enabling its contribution to GALION and its support to satellite atmospheric missions, with the required quality.

Specific Objectives

Implementation of the EARLINET QA/QC program at LALINET stations

In the framework of this project, the QA/QC program developed by EARLINET will be implemented at selected LALINET stations. Transfer of expertise will be mediated by the external researcher, part of the study team, and will continue through the already established collaborations between EARLINET and LALINET groups.

An intercomparison campaign between selected LALINET lidars and a European reference instrument (EARLINET or equivalent) will be organized, following similar procedures as in EARLI09.

In the framework of this project, the EARLINET Single Calculus Chain will be implemented at selected LALINET stations.

Observation of aerosol characteristics at selected LALINET stations

In the framework of this project, ground-based lidars in LALINET will be used to measure the vertical distribution of aerosols – and quantify their optical properties, focusing on long-range transport of desert dust and biomass burning events. If available, complementary sun-photometer and aerosol mass spectrometry will be combined with lidar retrievals in order to better characterize the microphysical properties of aged particles and mixtures. Backtrajectories will be used in correlation with layer altitudes from lidar, to estimate the source of dust particles.


Anne Grete Straume Technical OfficerESA ESTEC
Dirk SchuttemeyerExpertESA
Alexander Geiss
Doina NicolaeProject CoordinatorINOE
Livio Belegante
Volker FreudenthalerProject Subcontractor 1LMU
Locas Alados ArboledasProject Subcontractor 2UGR
Juan Luis Rascado
Eduardo LandulfoExternal ResearcherIPEN
Fabio Lopez
Diego GouveiaExternal ResearcherUSP