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Proceedings Paper

Arctic lidar at Univ. of California/Los Angeles' HIPAS Observatory
Author(s): Ralph F. Wuerker
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Paper Abstract

A bistatic lidar has been assembled at the HIPAS Observatory in Alaska (64.9 degree(s) N latitude and 146.8 degree(s) W) around a 2.7 m diameter rotating Liquid Mirror Telescope (LMT) with parabolic mercury reflecting surface. The LMT is isolated in a tower under a float glass skylight for operation when outside temperature can be at -40 degree(s)C. The lidar operates in conjunction with a 70MW (Effective Radiated Power) Radio Frequency array and ionospheric heater, which has been shown to perturb the arctic ionosphere and the electrojet. Bistatic laser illuminators include a Doubled YAG pumped dye laser (presently tuned to the 590 nm sodium D2 resonance), an Excimer pumped dye laser (also tuned to the D2 line), and a Doubled Alexandrite laser for future N2 and Ca+ detection. Observations include sporadic Na formation due to the aurora, detection of Leonid's meteor trails (starting at 180 km) and changes in the sodium layer due to the HIPAS-RF heater. The 590 nm lidar is now being modified to detect polar stratospheric clouds during the summer. Ozone and OH can be detected in the future with the 308 nm wavelength of the excimer laser. A more recent application will use the LMT to focus a several hundred Joule - nanosecond duration laser pulse to 100 km altitudes, for the purpose of creating multi kilometer long plasma columns in the sky for direct electroject modification experiments. The 1057 nm laser pulse will be generated by surplus Nova components; namely, 9.2 cm and 15 cm disk amplifiers in a double pass SBS configuration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 January 2002
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4485, Optical Spectroscopic Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Instrumentation for Atmospheric and Space Research IV, (30 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.454264
Show Author Affiliations
Ralph F. Wuerker, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4485:
Optical Spectroscopic Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Instrumentation for Atmospheric and Space Research IV
Allen M. Larar; Martin G. Mlynczak, Editor(s)

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