RALI project consists of an airborne platform combining a 95 GHz Doppler cloud radar named
and a triple-wavelength dual-polarization lidar (High spectral resolution capability) named
for the characterisation of the macrophysical, microphysical, radiative, and dynamical properties of clouds, aerosols, and convection.
Visit the data section for more information about the available data.
Why radar and lidar?
These two types of instruments, the millimetre-wave radar and the backscatter lidar are the most relevant instruments to address aerosols/clouds studies. The cloud radar detects most of the clouds in the troposphere, however it is very difficult for the radar to observe very thin cirrus. The cloud radar also has the potential to document convectivestorms, except the most intense storms which produce total extinction of the radar signal. On the other hand, the lidar can document both clouds and aerosols. Unfortunately, it cannot detect clouds of optical depth larger than 3-4 though, but it is very well suited to document the very thin ice clouds missed by the cloud radar in airborne and spaceborne configurations. The cloud-radar lidar combination is therefore really unique in the sense that it can characterise the vertical distribution of the properties of many clouds (with the cloud radar alone, the lidar alone, or the combination of both) and also document the aerosol properties (in the absence of clouds).
In December 2015, RALI flew with its up to date configuration.