The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Scanning Raman Lidar (SRL) participated in the International H2O Project (IHOP), which occurred in May and June 2002 in the midwestern part of the United States. The SRL received extensive optical modifications prior to and during the IHOP campaign that added new measurement capabilities and enabled unprecedented daytime water vapor measurements by a Raman lidar system. Improvements were also realized in nighttime upper-tropospheric water vapor measurements. The other new measurements that were added to the SRL for the IHOP deployment included rotational Raman temperature, depolarization, cloud liquid water, and cirrus cloud ice water content. In this first of two parts, the details of the operational configuration of the SRL during IHOP are provided along with a description of the analysis and calibration procedures for water vapor mixing ratio, aerosol depolarization, and cirrus cloud extinction-to-backscatter ratio. For the first time, a Raman water vapor lidar calibration is performed, taking full account of the temperature sensitivity of water vapor and nitrogen Raman scattering. Part II presents case studies that permit the daytime and nighttime error
statistics to be quantified.