Optical Depth Measurements of Clouds Using a Mie Scattering LIDAR System

The optical properties of clouds are important factors in studying global radiative balance. In particular, the optical depth distribution of clouds, which may be derived from the extinction coefficient, is useful in modeling the radiation distribution in the atmosphere. In the western Pacific tropics, little is known of the optical properties, including optical depth, of clouds despite this region being an extremely active and important one for global moisture transport.

This paper presents the calculated optical depths of observed clouds at the Ateneo de Manila University, 14.64N, 121.07E, Manila, Philippines from LIDAR backscattered signals.

LIDAR, an acronym for LIght Detection And Ranging, is the optical analogue of radar and is used in the field of atmospheric physics primarily for the study of clouds, volcanic particles, aerosols and dust.

[Presented at the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas (SPP) Congress, 2000.]