The comparison of nadir and off-nadir retrievals of τ from mini-DOAS, SMART and independent estimates by the Water Vapour Lidar Experiment in Space (WALES) show general agreement within the range of measurement uncertainties. For the selected example case a mean optical thickness of 0.54±0.2 is derived by SMART and 0.49±0.2 by mini-DOAS nadir channels, while WALES obtained a mean value of 0.32 at 532 nm wavelength respectively. The mean of τ derived from the scanning mini-DOAS channels is 0.26. For the few simultaneous measurements, the scanning mini-DOAS measurements systematically underestimate (−17.6 %) the nadir observations from SMART and mini-DOAS, most likely due to the different probed scenes. The different values of τ derived by SMART, mini-DOAS and WALES can be potentially linked to spatial averages, ice crystal shape and the measurement strategies. The agreement of the simulations and retrievals indicate that off-nadir measurements are generally suited better to retrieve τ of thin clouds.
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