The GAW Aerosol Lidar Observation Network



The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) aerosol programme strives "to determine the spatio-temporal distribution of aerosol properties related to climate forcing and air quality up to multidecadal time scales".

The specific objective of the GAW Aerosol Lidar Observation Network (GALION) is to provide the vertical component of this distribution through advanced laser remote sensing in a network of ground-based stations globally distributed. The mission of GALION is to organize the observational capability for the 4-dimensional distribution of key aerosol parameters at global scale

The aerosol properties to be observed will include the identification of aerosol layers, profiles of directly measured optical properties (backscatter and extinction coefficients at selected wavelengths, lidar ratio, Ängström coefficients, particle depolarization ratios) and indirectly inferred properties (e.g., profiles of light-absorption and single-scattering albedo), aerosol type (e.g. dust, maritime, fire smoke, urban haze), and microphysical properties (e.g., volume and surface concentrations, size distribution parameters, refractive index). Observations will be made with sufficient coverage, resolution, and accuracy to establish a comprehensive aerosol climatology, to evaluate model performance, to assist and complement space-borne observations, and to provide input to forecast models of "chemical weather".

GALION is based on the cooperation between existing lidar networks (ALINE, AD-Net, CIS-LINET, CORALNet, EARLINET, NDACC, REALM/CREST, and MPLNET).