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Proceedings Paper

Graz kHz SLR LIDAR: first results
Author(s): Georg Kirchner; Franz Koidl; Daniel Kucharski; Walther Pachler; Matthias Seiss; Erich Leitgeb
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Paper Abstract

The Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) Station Graz is measuring routinely distances to satellites with a 2 kHz laser, achieving an accuracy of 2-3 mm. Using this available equipment, we developed - and added as a byproduct - a kHz SLR LIDAR for the Graz station: Photons of each transmitted laser pulse are backscattered from clouds, atmospheric layers, aircraft vapor trails etc. An additional 10 cm diameter telescope - installed on our main telescope mount - and a Single- Photon Counting Module (SPCM) detect these photons. Using an ISA-Bus based FPGA card - developed in Graz for the kHz SLR operation - these detection times are stored with 100 ns resolution (15 m slots in distance). Event times of any number of laser shots can be accumulated in up to 4096 counters (according to > 60 km distance). The LIDAR distances are stored together with epoch time and telescope pointing information; any reflection point is therefore determined with 3D coordinates, with 15 m resolution in distance, and with the angular precision of the laser telescope pointing. First test results to clouds in full daylight conditions - accumulating up to several 100 laser shots per measurement - yielded high LIDAR data rates (> 100 points per second) and excellent detection of clouds (up to 10 km distance at the moment). Our ultimate goal is to operate the LIDAR automatically and in parallel with the standard SLR measurements, during day and night, collecting LIDAR data as a byproduct, and without any additional expenses.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 May 2009
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 7355, Photon Counting Applications, Quantum Optics, and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing II, 73550U (18 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.822248
Show Author Affiliations
Georg Kirchner, Institute for Space Research (Austria)
Franz Koidl, Institute for Space Research (Austria)
Daniel Kucharski, Institute for Space Research (Austria)
Walther Pachler, Technical Univ. Graz (Austria)
Matthias Seiss, Technical Univ. Graz (Austria)
Erich Leitgeb, Technical Univ. Graz (Austria)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7355:
Photon Counting Applications, Quantum Optics, and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing II
Miloslav Dusek; Ivan Prochazka; Roman Sobolewski, Editor(s)

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