Contributions to the ESA EarthCARE Validation Programme

The following activities have been proposed in response to the  ESA Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for the Validation of EarthCARE.  

An overview of ground-based Lidar (blue) and radar (red) stations, excluding dense networks of stations,  is depicted here below.

As can be seen from the table here, the ground-based instrumentation is complemented by numerous airborne and satellite instruments which by their nature cannot be shown as points on the map above.

Scientists that are interested in collaboration and joining the ESA EarthCARE Validation Team are invited to contact
IDProposal IDTitlePrincipal InvestigatorPI InstituteCountryScope of the Activity


EarthCARE BBR L1 and L2 Products Assessment

<awaiting consent>

<awaiting consent>BELGIUM

This proposal contributes to the characterisation of BBR L1 products in terms of geolocation, PSF, pixel cross talk, and view collocation. Radiometric quality assessment (gain linearity, noise, stability) is also performed. The activity also includes characterisation of Short Wave signal subtraction accuracy and effect of CDM speed. The team will perform an evaluation of BM-RAD by comparison with GERB, CERES, ScaRaB, and CLARREO. It will formulate a protocol for BMA-LX validation and closure analysis.



Validation of EarthCARE products by comparison with airborne measurements and global NWP predictions



German Initiative for the Validation of EarthCARE (GIVE)



Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research TROPOSGERMANY

This comprehensive proposal combines satellite, aircraft, in-situ and model contributions to direct intercomparison and assessment of spatial and temporal representativeness. It includes the
HALO aircraft with EarthCARE -like payload, ground stations with Lidar and radar and various auxiliary data. It will also contribute to the validation of radiation closure. It is foreseen to integrate groundbased stations with auxiliary data networks like ARM or SURFRAD. The LACROS mobile station will be operated, with its Raman Lidar, radars and sun photometers. Also the activity includes intercomparison with PollyNET which is a network of >10 multi-wavelength Lidars plus several mobile stations. The proposal also contributes several mobile radars operating at 94ghz
The proposing team foresees 2 to 3 airborne campaigns with 3 to 4 weeks duration with HALO, additional validation with the DLR-FALCON, and with the French FALCON
The team intends to validate BMA-FLX with ground stations and SEVERI,



SPACECARE (Study of Precipitation in the AntarctiC with EarthCARE)




This proposal addresses the validation of C-TC, C-CLR, ACM-CAP with a precipitation Radar in the Antarctic. Considering the precipitation collocation criterion (not as extreme as for clouds) and the denser spacing of orbits  near the poles, this contribution has more significance than, for example, a single cloud validation station near the equator.  This proposal contributes data points in a region that is extremely different from other areas of the globe.



ACTRIS for EarthCARE L2 product evaluation (AECARE)



Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteNETHERLANDS

This proposal contributes correlative observations for L2A ATLID aerosol and cloud extinction backscatter and depolarisation. It will also contribute correlative observations for CPR (FMR, CD, TC, CLD) and AC-TC and ACM (CAP, COM, 3D), and ABCM-DF, namely calibrated radar reflectivity factor, Doppler velocity, Lidar-attenuated backscatter coefficient, microwave radiometer liquid water path, and (combining information from multiple instruments) target categorisation, liquid water content, ice water content, drizzle flux, drizzle drop size, ice effective radios and TKE dissipation rate. Also the team will use its expertise with the EarthCARE simulator and algorithms to explore any deviations found



Evaluation of EarthCARE Radiances and Fluxes with CERES Data Products



NASA Langley Research CenterUNITED STATES

This proposal contributes to BBR validation by using CERES (and other instruments)
It includes the following main activities
1) radiance intercomparison
2)TOA Fluxes intercomparison
3) surface fluxes evaluation (also groundbased)
4) Cloud properties BBR vs MODIS using GEO satellites and CERES algorithms







This proposal contributes intercomparison of ATLID with Lidars in South America, in particular:

1) Vertical profile of attenuated backscatter range at 355, 532, and 1064
2) vertical profiles of aerosol optical properties (routine and coincident) from the LALINET network.



Validation of EarthCARE level2 radar products in high-latitude and Arctic climates



University of HelsinkiFINLAND

The proposal contributes intercomparison activities involving 2 Finnish ACTRIS cloud profilers, and additionally precipitation measurements from 1 site, and scanning weather radars from the FMI contributing also to precipitation intercomparison.



Balloon Aerosols Instruments for the Validation of EarthCARE (BAIVEC)




This proposal is entirely dedicated to balloon-borne validation of EarthCARE. It has two main components:

1) LOAC optical particle sizer/counter measurements under weather balloons. 10 Flights per year dedicated to EarthCARE overpasses from France, perhaps additional flights from France, Kiruna, and Canada (Timmins)
2) Strateole2 stratospheric balloons with a mixed payload of in-situ samplers (reeled down to 2km below the balloon) and backscatter Lidar. 2 campaigns of 20 flights each are already planned (each of these flights circling the globe many times), preceded by a campaign of 5 flights.
Both contributions are aimed at ATLID calibration (Mie channels, and potentially also the Raman channel depending on the aerosol density) and validation



MORECALVAL : MObile Radar-Lidar-Radiometer EarthCARE CAL/VAL project




This proposal combines airborne and (mobile) ground-based intercomparison instruments, namely:

1) The French Falcon 20 or ATR42 with RALI platform with a payload consisting of a 95GHz Doppler radar and 355 HSRL (and also 532 and 1064)
2) The HALO Platform (DLR) with as payload an HSRL operating at 532 & DIAL@935nm, Cloud radar, MWRs, Hyperspectral Imager, and radiometers
3) The Mobile Atmospheric Station: a platform installed on a lorry with a Radar and a Lidar
4) An Ultra Light Aircraft with Raman Lidar (WALI)
5) Potentially a tethered stratospheric zeppelin (STRATOBUS) at 20km with a nadir cloud radar (BASTA)
The team foresees 2 funded field campaigns with [1] and [2] but in 2019 and 2020
With these means the proposal foresees to contribute to:
- the calibration of the CPR Doppler velocity and reflectivity, and the ATLID Mie, Rayleigh, and depolarisation measurements
- the validation the EarthCARE ATLID and CPR level 1 products
- the validation of the following ATLID Level 2a products: FM, AER, ICE, TC, EBD, CTH, ALD
- the validation of the following CPR Level 2a products: FMR, CD, TC, CLD
- the following L2b products: TC, CAP, COM, 3D, RT



An Italian coordinated contribution to the Validation of EarthCARE products from three atmospheric observatories in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Gian Luigi



This proposal  contributes intercomparisons with the following correlative instrumentation:

1) multiple active (and passive instruments at 2 sites in/near Rome and 1 in Lampedusa (with a buoy 15km south of the island). All three have a multichannel RMR lidar with a 355 channel.
2) Possibility to add two mobile vans.
3) Possibility to add the Italian Vulcanair research aircraft to campaigns.
4) error analysis, synergetic processing of observations, optimisation of comparisons, estimation of impact of urban environment



LITES lidar in UK for validation of ATLID Profiles (LUK-AP)



University of HertfordshireUNITED KINGDOM

Measurements with a unique spectrometric aerosol Raman lidar located in the United Kingdom (51.75° N; 0.24° W) will be conducted during EarthCARE overpasses to validate the aerosol and cloud profile products obtained from ATLID observations.

The Lidar Spectroscopy Instrument (LiSsI, Tesche et al., 2017) is the central instrument of LITES (Lidar Innovations for Technologies and Environmental Sciences, Tatarov and Müller 2021) at the University of Hertfordshire (UH), Hatfield, UK. LiSsI is one of only two instruments worldwide that allow for multiwavelength spectrometric profiling of Raman scattering and depolarisation of atmospheric constituents. LiSsI has been designed for measurements of gaseous and particulate pollution, while a second lidar with spectrometric capabilities, RAMSES of the German Met Service (Reichardt et al., 2016), focuses on the detection of the Raman spectrum of water molecules in the atmosphere.


merged with EVID04

Validation of EarthCARE Aerosol products over key REgions with a focus on high latitudes (VECARE)



CESAR for EarthCARE evaluation (CECARE)



Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteNETHERLANDS

The proposal consists of the following contributions:

1) Intercomparisons using a 'supersite' with the broadest range of instrumentation (including multi-wavelength Raman Lidar and 355nm depolarisation Lidar, multi-frequency radar, CloudNet) covering most EarthCARE products and auxiliary parameters. In particular the intercomparisons will contribute to the validation of aerosol and clouds (CPR-FMR,CD, TC,CLD and AC-TC, ACM-CAP,COM,3D,RT, and ABCM-DF. The synergetic products in the list above are validated by intercomparison with synergetic correlative products derived from the correlative instruments.
2) A Trans National Access site that could host campaigns.

The proposal is related to 38644



ACTRIS-FR proposal for EarthCARE Cal/Val

<awaiting consent>

<awaiting consent>FRANCE

This proposal contributes the following elements:

1) Data from a subset of instruments of the AECARE proposal (38644) that are operated by French institutions. 
2) Evaluation/Analysis activities:
- Aerosol properties evaluation
- Volcanic Aerosol signature and stratospheric clouds
- Cloud properties evaluation
- Radar products Cal/Val

The proposal is related to 38644



Swedish contribution to ESAs EarthCARE Cal Val activities (SweVal)




The proposal consists of the following contributions:

1) Intercomparisons with FRM4RADAR (94GHz Radar funded by ESA)
2) Intercomparison with data from MOSAIC campaign with Polarstern (but 2019-2020)
3) Intercomparisons cloud radar, aerosol lidar, soundings at Ny-Ålesund
4) Intercomparisons with Cloud radar, aerosol profile, and in situ measurements from the Ice breaker  Oden
5) Intercomparisons with AERONET measurements for M-AOT and AM-ACD validation
6) Intercomparisons with CATS, AVHRR, MODIS, VIIRS, potentially SLSTR using CALIPSO collocation software built by SMHI
7) statistical analysis against monthly and seasonal means of cloud property climatologies in CM-SAF, ESA-Cloud-CCI, CATS, CloudSat+Calipso



EarthCARE Cal/Val Using the NASA Micro Pulse Lidar Network (MPLNET)



NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterUNITED STATES

The project at present contributes access to the MPLNET dataset and support to interpretation of MPLNET data for use in validation studies.



Airborne and Lidar Validation of EarthCARE (ALIVO EarthCARE)



Andoya Space CenterNORWAY

The project contributes to the validation of ATLID and MSI. The following correlative instrumentation is used:

1)EARLINET Tropospheric Lidar (ACTRIS): 355,352,1064, depolarisation capability, and inelastic Raman channel
2) sun/moon/sky photometer
3)cimel and GPS for water vapour
5) Nevzorov probe (and) aerosol-profiling on Airborne platform (Drone)

This proposal is related to 38644



Innovative retrieval methods of aerosol and cirrus cloud optical depth above water clouds and ocean surface, and its application in ATLID cal/val studies.




This proposal comprises 4 lines of activity

1) validation of ATLID L2 aerosol and cirrus optical depth using column integrated AOD derived from ATLID ocean surface backscatter measurements together with collocated CPR ocean backscatter cross section
2) validate ATLID L2 erosol and cirrus optical depth using above-cloud optical depths derived from layer-integrated water cloud ATLID lidar backscatter measurements
3) Validate ATLID L1 data product using lidar backscatter measurements of ocean surface and water clouds when there are no aerosol and cirrus clouds
4) The USA part of the proposal by G. Ancellet



Validation of EarthCARE Product in China

<awaiting consent>

<awaiting consent>CHINA

The proposal consists of the following four activities:

1) Validation of ATLID L1 backscatter and extinction coefficient vertical profiles by using ground-based lidar systems (2 AMPLE lidars, EARLINET calibration procedure with Naples station)
2) validation of ATLID L2 integrated AOD by using Chinese ground-based sun photometer network (CARSNET, 50 stations, reference instruments recalibrated at Izaña twice per year)
3) radiometric calibration and validation of MSI visibile and near-infrared bands using Dunhuang China Radiometric Calibration Sites (CRCS)
4) intercomparison between EarthCARE and FY-3 L1/L2 satellite products.



Calibration and Validation for EarthCARE Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) using Ground Based and Satellite Weather Radar Observations

<awaiting consent>

<awaiting consent>UNITED STATES

The project contributes to calibration and validation of the CPR by means of:
1) 10 dual-polarisation C-band doppler radars
2) 158 NEXRAD radars (Doppler weather)
3) NPOL radar
4) CSU-CHILL radar (transportable)
5) the DPR instrument on the GPM mission



Validation of the EarthCARE ATLID and MSI products using ground-based lidar and sunphotometry measurements in East Asia.



National Institute for Environmental StudiesJAPAN

The project contributes to ATLID L1B and L2A and MSI L2A validation by means of:
1) a subset of AD-NET lidar systems comprising 4 Multi wavelength Raman Lidars based on land and one at sea, one M-HSRL and one M-Raman-HSRL
2) SKYNET radiometer network
3) validation analysis addressing ATL_1B, A-AER, EBD, ALD, M-AOT, AM-ACD



Validation of EarthCARE products towards their homogenization with CALIPSO for consolidating the 3D long-term ESA-LIVAS climatology of aerosols, clouds and radiation (ACROSS)



National Observatory of AthensGREECE

The project contributes by intercomparison with:
1) ground based (multiwavelength lidars (including ESA mobile Raman EMORAL), sun photometers, broadband radiometers, insitu surface sensors, MAXDOAS, Brewer
2) airborne (UAV) sensors
3) satellite sensors from polar (MODIS, VIIRS) and geo (SEVIRI) and CERES+GERB+SEVIRI solar radiation+TOA radiation
It will contribute to the validation of A-FM, AER, CTH, ALD, EBD, TC, M-AOD, BM-RAD, BMA-FLX (making use of RTM where needed).
It will contribute to the expansion of the ESA-LIVAS database



Statistically based calibration/validation control of ATLID L1 data

<awaiting consent>

<awaiting consent>FRANCE

The project contributes ATLID instrument verification based on 11 parameters in the ATLID level 1 product.
It will assess
a) the stability of the detection chain for all three channels
b) the accuracy of the cross talk distributions
c) the stability of day- and night time noise
d) the stability of the radiation detection for all atmospheric scenarios and over the whole world

The means to achieve the above is the monitoring set of monitoring analyses:
1) stability control using surface backscatter on clear sky ocean surface at 300 K
2) stratospheric noise analysis using backscatter signals at 35 to 40mk
3) Advanced SR histogrammes to address whole range of detected molecular and particular Attenuated Backscatter



Cabauw Lidar observations for ATLID L1 and L2a product evaluation.




The project contributes to the assessment of the outputs of the A-PRO algorithm (L1 attenuated backscatter profiles, L2 cloud/aerosol backscatter, extinction, extinction-to-backscatter ratio and linear depolarisation ratio)
It provides correlative observations from Cabauw:
1) a 24/7 depolarisation lidar @355
2) non-continuous observations with a multiwavelength Raman
3)if needed the use of supporting surface radiation, cloud profiling radar, Aeronet  and IR ceilometer measurements.

The proposal is related to 38644



Calibration and Validation of EarthCAREs Cloud Profiling Radar Data Products



Jet Propulsion LaboratoryUNITED STATES

This proposal contributes to the validation of the ESA L2B synergistic product by means of the following:
1) compare CloudSat with EarthCARE to establish a Climate Data Record of Cloud Geometric Propertes
2) acquisition and distribution from prelaunch datasets from JPLs cloud & precipitation airborne radars to validate EC CPR with airborne data from OLYMPEX/RADEX'15, CPEX'17, ORACLES'16 and ORACLES'17 campaigns.
3) post launch collaboration ESA, JAXA, NASA for coordinated deployment of airborne Ku, Ka, and W band radars (in particular APR-3  and airMASTR that have all three bands)
4) using an advanced time-dependent spectral radiative transfer model to validated the reliability of the CPR L2a Doppler and Reflectivity products



Evaluation of vertical-profiles and column integrated aerosol properties from EarthCARE in Spain using EARLINET/ACTRIS facilities and airborne data from field-campaigns.

<awaiting consent>

<awaiting consent>SPAIN

This project contributes to the validation of:
-ATLID Level 1a
-ATLD Level 2a FM, AER, EBD, TC, CTH, and ALD
by means of:
1) multi-wavelength backscatter from 5 sites, some of which also have night-time Raman systems @ 355nm
2) AERONET calibration centre providing AERONET products from stations in spain and allowing synergetic aerosol-extinction profiles by combining with collocated Lidar data
3) Selected MPLNET systems
4) Mobile Raman lidar and in-situ instrumentation
5) Airborne campaigns, with UAVs/RPAs ('minimum 2 hours of collocated data') and European Facility for Airborne Research (EUFAR) platform

The proposal is related to 38644



Cross-scale evaluation of ground precipitation derived from the ACM-CAP data product over Europe



Czech University of Life Sciences, PragueCZECH REPUBLIC

The project will contribute to ACM-CAP validation by intercomparison with surface precipitation gauges from the European Climate Assessment & Dataset (ECA&D)



MMP : Monitoring MSI/EarthCARE L1 performances using concomitant intercalibration and stand-alone approaches




The project contributes to the monitoring of the MSI performance (and L2 clear/clouds/aerosols flag  and surface characteristics assessment as by product) using the following methods:
1) a relative approach where the EarthCARE MSI is 'intercalibrated' on a channel-by-channel basis with similar data from another sensor, e.g IASI
2) a standalone approach where MSI observations are compared to simulations.
Tools will be set up before launch, using ongoing reanalysis of Level1 IRR/CALIPSO channels paired with LEO MODIS/AQUA channels and GEO SEVERI/METEOSAT.



Plan for EarthCARE/ATLID Calibration and Science Product Validation Using CALIPSO




The project contributes to EarthCARE validation by means of the f0llowing activities:

1) a global intercomparison of CALIOP and ATLID cloud observations, focusing on three-dimensional cloud occurrence, cloud top height, and cloud ice/water phase,
2) ATLID depolarisation calibration assessment
As the CALIPSO mission is assumed to end by 2019, the comparison will be done statistically, using the CALIPSO mean climatology and inter-annual variability.



An assessment of EarthCARE’s Cloud Propery Retrival Algorithms for Persistent Ice-phase Clouds in the Canadian Arctic

Zhipeng Qu

Environment CanadaCANADA

The project contributes to the validation of EarthCARE cloud property retrieval algorithms, in particular of persistent ice phase clouds (and aerosols) during the polar night, by means of:
1) Iqualuit  site data with Doppler lidars (2x), warer vapour lidar, ceilometer, local radiosonde and Far InfraRed Radiometer (FIRR), doppler weather radar, meteo measurements, surface fluxes
2) Canadian Convair 580 airborne platform data with lidar @355 and radar @94GHz and passive narrow band radiometers & FIRR & in situ measurements
- Tentative: an independent proposal was submitted to CSA to fly a FIRR in an nanosatellite.



EarthCARE Calibration and Validation using an Airborne HSRL

Chris Hostetler

NASA Langley Research CenterUNITED STATES

The project contributes to the validation of ATLID L1b, ATLID L2a-FM, TC,AT, EBD, ALD, AM-ACD, AM-CTH by means of:
1) particpate in ECVT planning and share experiences
2) perform underflights with NASA's HSRL-2 lidar (@355 @532, with backscatter capability @1064 and polarisation sensitivity at all 3 wavelengths) and with significantly higher signal to noise than ATLID
3) perform calibration and validation assesments e.g. to for validation requirements ATL-CA-1,4,5,6,7. The results may also bridge between the 532nm dataset of CALIOP and the 355nm dataset of ATLID


Validation of Atlid lidar data with ground-based lidars in Northern Sweden

Peter VölgerSwedish Instute of Space PhysicsSWEDENThe project contributes to validation of ATLID backscatter measurements of cirrus clouds and polar stratospheric clouds. It will address validation the A-EBD and A-CTH products. The main lidar used is the one at Kiruna but for specific cases (e.g. mountain lee waves) a second lidar at Esrange will be used

WEGN4CARE - Validation of EarthCARE cloud and precipitation products by the WegenerNet 3D Weather Research Facility in Southeastern Austria

<awaiting consent>University of Graz - Wegener CenterAUSTRIA

The objectives of the project are to:

1) validate C-TC: cloud-base height against the WEGN climate research facility IR radiometers; simplified convective classification against WEGN X-band radar; optionally melting layer base and top heights against the WEGN X-band radar in campaign mode.

2) validate ACM-CAP: Liquid Water Content (LWC) and LWPath against WEGN radiometer data; rain rate, rain water content, rain normalised number concentration(*), median raindrop diameter(*), rain classification and convective classification against WEGN weather radar and ground precipitation data.  *=under conditions of moderate to heavy precipitation

3560799Validate Cloud Profiling Radar on EarthCARE against Aircraft Observations of Cirriform CloudVaughan PhillipsINES, Lund UniversitySWEDENThe project will validate CPR in-cloud vertical velocity using aircraft measurements of ice morphology and ice size distributions to derive a reflectivity weighted fall speed for comparison with CPR for the specific case of cirriforrm ascent. All microphysical parameters used by the EarthCARE algorithm to infer reflectivity-weighted fall speed will be directly compared to aircraft measurements. A further validation step is to model the storm at high-resolution, validate the model with aircraft data, and apply the model to the EarthCARE data to achieve statistical validation.

Aerosol product Validation and Evaluation for EarthCARE (AVE-ECARE)

Larisa SogachevaFMIFinland

This  project will provide an assessment of the validation and evaluation of EarthCARE ATLID and MSI aerosol products using AERONET ground based observations and other similar aerosol products retrieved from satellites (e.g., MODIS for column AOD, MISR and Calipso for aerosol vertical profile). Validation


Calibration and Validation of EarthCARE Retrieved Products Using Measurements from the UK Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM)

<awaiting consent>University of ReadingUK

The objectives of this project are to:

1) Obtain aircraft measurements of clouds and radiation collocated within 20 minutes of the EarthCARE track.

2) Evaluate and refine the official ESA EarthCARE retrieval products


Norwegian initiative for EarthCARE Validation of Aerosol uncertainties and Radiation products in the Arctic (NEVAR)




Cyprus Observations for EarthCARE vALidation (CORAL)

<awaiting consent>ERATOSTHENES CoECyprus



Combining EarthCARE and ARM facility measurements for validation and research applications

<awaiting consent>Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryUSA

<> ARM


Assessment of EarthCARE Aerosol and Cloud Products through Ground-Based Measurements from the E-PROFILE  and AERONET Networks (AEROCLOUD)

<awaiting consent>University of GranadaSpain



NASA Atmosphere Observing System (AOS) Suborbital Working Group (SOWG) Collaboration With EarthCARE Validation Team

<awaiting consent>NASA - Marshall Space Flight CenterUSA


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