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Proceedings Paper

Potential and range of application of elastic backscatter lidar systems using polarization selection to minimize detected skylight noise
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Paper Abstract

We examine the potential, range of application, and limiting factors of a polarization selection technique, recently devised by us, which takes advantage of naturally occurring polarization properties of scattered sky light to minimize the detected sky background signal and which can be used in conjunction with linearly polarized elastic backscatter lidars to maximize lidar receiver SNR. In this approach, a polarization selective lidar receiver is aligned to minimize detected skylight, while the polarization of the transmitted lidar signal is rotated to maintain maximum lidar backscatter signal throughput to the receiver detector, consequently maximizing detected signal to noise ratio. Results presented include lidar elastic backscatter measurements, at 532 nm which show as much as a factor of √10 improvement in signal-to-noise ratio over conventional un-polarized schemes. For vertically pointing lidars, the largest improvements are limited to symmetric early morning and late afternoon hours. For non-vertical scanning lidars, significant improvements are achievable over much more extended time periods, depending on the specific angle between the lidar and solar axes. A theoretical model that simulates the background skylight within the single scattering approximation showed good agreement with measured SNR improvement factors. Diurnally asymmetric improvement factors, sometimes observed, are explained by measured increases in PWV and subsequent modification of aerosol optical depth by dehydration from morning to afternoon. Finally, since the polarization axis follows the solar azimuth angle even for high aerosol loading, as demonstrated using radiative transfer simulations, it is possible to conceive automation of the technique. In addition, it is shown that while multiple scattering reduces the SNR improvement, the orientation of the minimum noise state remains the same.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2006
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6367, Lidar Technologies, Techniques, and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing II, 636709 (5 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.689175
Show Author Affiliations
S. A. Ahmed, The City College of the City Univ. of New York (United States)
Y. Y. Hassebo, The City College of the City Univ. of New York (United States)
B. Gross, The City College of the City Univ. of New York (United States)
M. Oo, The City College of the City Univ. of New York (United States)
F. Moshary, The City College of the City Univ. of New York (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6367:
Lidar Technologies, Techniques, and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing II
Upendra N. Singh, Editor(s)

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