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Proceedings Paper

A flexible eye-safe lidar instrument for elastic-backscatter and DIAL
Author(s): Iain Robinson; Jim W. Jack; Cameron F. Rae; John Moncrieff
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Paper Abstract

Developments in lidar have been driven largely by improvements in two key technologies: lasers and detectors. We describe here a lidar instrument for atmospheric remote sensing using the elastic-backscatter and differential-absorption lidar (DIAL) techniques. The instrument features an all-solid-state laser source combined with a flexible approach to detection providing portability, eye-safe operation and high sensitivity. The system is built around a custom-designed Newtonian telescope with a 0.38 m diameter primary mirror. Laser sources and detectors attach directly to the side of the telescope allowing for flexible customization with a range of equipment. The laser source is based on an optical parametric oscillator (OPO). The OPO is pumped by a neodymiumbased diode-laser pumped solid-state laser and angle-tuned by rotating the nonlinear conversion crystal. This provides a wide range of available wavelengths suitable for lidar within the 1.55 μm to 3.10 μm spectral region, where there exists a relatively high exposure limit for eye safety. The OPO delivers 1 mJ output pulse energy which is expanded and then transmitted coaxially from the telescope. Our goal is to make vertically-resolved measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations using DIAL. The source can rapidly be tuned between the on-line and off-line wavelengths to make a DIAL measurement. The use of the 1.6 μm wavelength region allows for several detection schemes. Whilst photodiode detectors are a very low-cost solution their limited sensitivity restricts the maximum range over which a signal can be detected. We therefore have designed the instrument to support alternative detection schemes including avalanche photodiodes (APDs).

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8534, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XVII; and Lidar Technologies, Techniques, and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing VIII, 85340X (1 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.974746
Show Author Affiliations
Iain Robinson, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Jim W. Jack, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Cameron F. Rae, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
John Moncrieff, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8534:
Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XVII; and Lidar Technologies, Techniques, and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing VIII
Upendra N. Singh; Gelsomina Pappalardo; Evgueni I. Kassianov; Adolfo Comeron; Richard H. Picard; Klaus Schäfer, Editor(s)

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