OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 24, Iss. 11 — Jun. 1, 1985
  • pp: 1614–1622

Determination of cloud microphysical properties by laser backscattering and extinction measurements

R. H. Dubinsky, A. I. Carswell, and S. R. Pal  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 24, Issue 11, pp. 1614-1622 (1985)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1131 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The extinction and backscattering of 514-nm laser radiation in polydisperse water droplet clouds have been studied in the laboratory. Three cloud size distributions with modal diameters of 0.02, 5, and 12 μm have been investigated. The relationships between the cloud optical parameters (attenuation coefficient σ and volume backscattering coefficient βπ) and the cloud water content C have been measured for each size distribution. It has been found that a linear relationship exists between σ and C and between βπ and C for cloud water content values up to 3 g/m3. The linear relationships obtained, however, have slopes which depend on the droplet size distribution. For a given water content both σ and βπ increase as the modal diameter decreases. The measured data are compared with existing theoretical analyses and discussed in terms of their application to lidar measurements of atmospheric clouds. It is concluded that the empirical information obtained can serve as a basis for quantitative lidar measurements.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 27, 1984
Published: June 1, 1985

R. H. Dubinsky, A. I. Carswell, and S. R. Pal, "Determination of cloud microphysical properties by laser backscattering and extinction measurements," Appl. Opt. 24, 1614-1622 (1985)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. I. Carswell, “Lidar Measurements of the Atmosphere,” Can. J. Phys. 61, 378 (1983). [CrossRef]
  2. R. M. Measures, Laser Remote Sensing Fundamentals and Applicants (Wiley, New York, 1983).
  3. V. E. Zuev, Laser Beams in the Atmosphere (Plenum, New York, 1982). [CrossRef]
  4. H. C. van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles (Wiley, New York, 1957).
  5. D. Deirmendjian, Electromagnetic Scattering on Spherical Polydispersions (Elsevier, New York, 1969).
  6. C. F. Bohren, D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1983).
  7. L. W. Carrier, G. A. Cato, K. J. van Essen, “The Backscattering and Extinction of Visible and Infrared Radiation by Selected Major Cloud Models,” Appl. Opt. 6, 1209 (1967). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. B. J. Brinkworth, “Calculation of Attenuation and Backscattering in Cloud and Fog,” Atmos. Environ. 5, 605 (1971). [CrossRef]
  9. R. C. Anderson, E. V. Browell, “First- and Second-Order Backscattering from Clouds Illuminated by Finite Beams,” Appl. Opt. 11, 1345 (1972). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. R. G. Pinnick, S. G. Jennings, P. Chylek, H. J. Auvermann, “Verification of a Linear Relation Between IR Extinction, Absorption, and Liquid Water Content of Fog,” J. Atmos. Sci. 36, 1577 (1979). [CrossRef]
  11. R. G. Pinnick, S. G. Jennings, P. Chylek, “Relationships Between Extinction, Absorption, Backscattering and Mass Content of Sulphuric Acid Aerosols,” J. Geophys. Res. 85, 4059 (1980). [CrossRef]
  12. R. G. Pinnick, S. G. Jennings, P. Chylek, C. Ham, “Backscatter and Extinction in Water Clouds,” Report ASL-TR-0097, Atmos. Sci. Lab., White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (1981).
  13. R. G. Pinnick, S. G. Jennings, P. Chylek, C. Ham, W. T. Grandy, “Backscatter and Extinction in Water Clouds,” J. Geophys. Res. 88, 6787 (1983). [CrossRef]
  14. J. S. Ryan, S. R. Pal, A. I. Carswell, “Laser Backscattering from Dense Water-Droplet Clouds,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 60 (1979). [CrossRef]
  15. J. A. Garland, “Some Fog Droplet Size Distributions Obtained by an Impaction Method,” Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 97, 483 (1971). [CrossRef]
  16. P. Chylek, “Extinction and Liquid Water Content of Fogs and Clouds,” J. Atmos. Sci. 35, 296 (1978).
  17. E. Uthe, “Particle Size Evaluations using Multiwavelength Extinction Measurements,” Appl. Opt. 21, 454 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. M. A. Kolosov, A. V. Sokolov, L. V. Fedorova, R. A. Shirley, “The Relation Between the Coefficient of Attenuation of Laser Radiation Intensity and the Water Content of Artificial Mists,” Atmos. Oceanic Phys. 5, 6 (1969).
  19. D. Bruce, C. W. Bruce, Y. P. Yee, L. Cahenzli, H. Burket, “Experimentally Determined Relationship Between Extinction Coefficients and Liquid Water Content,” Appl. Opt. 19, 3355 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. A. W. Gertler, R. L. Steele, “Experimental Verification of the Linear Relationship Between IR Extinction and Liquid Water Content of Clouds,” J. Appl. Meteorol. 19, 1314 (1980). [CrossRef]
  21. V. E. Derr, “Estimation of Extinction Coefficient of Clouds from Multiwavelength Lidar Backscatter Measurements,” Appl. Opt. 19, 2310 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited