Validation activities of Aeolus wind products on the southeastern Iberian Peninsula

Abril-Gago J., Ortiz-Amezcua P., Bermejo-Pantaleón D., Andújar-Maqueda J., Bravo-Aranda J.A., Granados-Muñoz M.J., Navas-Guzmán F., Alados-Arboledas L., Foyo-Moreno I., and Guerrero-Rascado J.L.

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

23(14), 2023, 8453-8471, 10.5194/acp-23-8453-2023

In 2018, the European Space Agency launched the first Doppler wind lidar system into space, providing wind observation profiles from the lower stratosphere down to the surface in two different channels based on the scene classification: cloudy or clear. A statistical validation campaign of Aeolus wind products has been performed with a ground-based Doppler lidar system and radiosondes at the Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS)–Andalusian Global ObseRvatory of the Atmosphere (AGORA) facility in Granada (Spain). The validation activities with the automatic ground-based lidar system lasted from July 2019 to the orbit shift of June 2021. Aeolus data from two different processing baselines (10 and 11) were validated with 30 min averages of coincident ground-based lidar measurements, using a 100 km horizontal spatial collocation criterion. This resulted in 109 collocations and a mean observation distance from the ground-based lidar system of ∼ 50 km. The comparison did not raise any significant over- or underestimation of Aeolus horizontal line-of-sight wind speed during that period for the Rayleigh-clear and Mie-cloudy configurations. However, the ground-based lidar measurements were limited to the lower 3.5 km of the atmosphere and, consequently, the obtained results. Multiple analyses were performed varying the criteria of maximum distance and the average period for the ground-based lidar measurements in order to confirm the reliability of the criteria considered. A separate study was performed with Aeolus products after the orbit shift (baseline 12) with different collocation criteria (mean observation distance of ∼ 75 km, to the station), from July 2021 to May 2022. A set of seven radiosondes were launched with the aim of increasing their coincidence in space and time with the satellite overpass (∼ 30 min before). The radiosondes could provide full vertical coverage of Aeolus profiles (from the surface up to ∼ 20 km above sea level), and the comparison did not yield any significant over- or underestimation of the Rayleigh-clear wind speed, while the Mie-cloudy wind speed was significantly overestimated. Multiple analyses were performed in order to test how the spatiotemporal collocation of the radiosonde affected the results. Radiosondes not ideally collocated were proven to still be useful for comparison with the Rayleigh-clear observations but not with the Mie-cloudy observations.