This paper presents an evaluation of the random and systematic error sources associated with differential absorption lidar (DIAL) measurements of tropospheric water vapor (H2O) profiles from airborne and spaceborne platforms. The results of this analysis are used in the development and performance evaluation of the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) H2O DIAL system presently under development at the NASA Langley Research Center for operation on a high altitude ER-2 (advanced U-2) aircraft. The analysis shows that a <10% H2O profile measurement accuracy is possible for the LASE system with a vertical and horizontal resolution of 200 m and 10 km, respectively, at night and 300 m and 20 km during the day. Global measurements of H2O profiles from spaceborne DIAL systems can be made to a similar accuracy with a vertical resolution of 500 m and a horizontal resolution of 100 km.
Syed Ismail and Edward V. Browell, "Airborne and spaceborne lidar measurements of water vapor profiles: a sensitivity analysis," Appl. Opt. 28, 3603-3615 (1989)