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Proceedings Paper

UV laser approach to Doppler tropospheric wind sounding from a satellite
Author(s): Jack A. McKay; Thomas D. Wilkerson; Donald F. Heller; John C. Walling
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Paper Abstract

The possibility of direct detection of tropospheric wind speed Doppler shift with an ultraviolet laser is considered. The use of the UV eliminates all practical concerns of eye safety, permits the use of uncooled detectors, and yields enhanced aerosol and Rayleigh backscatter signals. The Rayleigh signal, which in the free troposphere can exceed the aerosol signal by three orders of magnitude, is itself a candidate for wind speed measurement, despite the Doppler broadening of this signal. The basis of this approach is a diode-pumped, frequency-doubled alexandrite laser, which offers very high electrical to optical energy efficiency, an estimated 9%, in generating UV output. Efficiency is critical for a satellite based lidar system due to the size, cost, and mass of solar power generation and waste heat disposal subsystems. Pumping of alexandrite with 680 nm laser diodes has been demonstrated. Narrow linewidth, high spectral purity, and high frequency stability have been obtained with laser diode injection seeding of a ring alexandrite laser. The tunable diode laser control allows tuning of the laser for spacecraft velocity compensation. The potential performance of a wind sounding lidar scaled to match the 300 W power capability of a mid-sized satellite is evaluated for the extremely weak aerosol conditions of the southern hemisphere oceans. A 20 W output laser system, with 1 m aperture telescope, at 350 km altitude, may yield measurement precisions better than plus or minus 3 m/s through most of the troposphere, deteriorating to plus or minus 10 m/s under extreme conditions. A Rayleigh backscatter system will yield plus or minus 3 m/s precision to 8 km altitude, plus or minus 5 m/s at 15 km, even with zero aerosol content.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 December 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2581, Lidar Techniques for Remote Sensing II, (15 December 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.228519
Show Author Affiliations
Jack A. McKay, Research Support Instruments (United States)
Thomas D. Wilkerson, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Donald F. Heller, Light Age, Inc. (United States)
John C. Walling, Light Age, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2581:
Lidar Techniques for Remote Sensing II
Christian Werner, Editor(s)

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