9 October 2018 Development of a Mars lidar (MARLI) for measuring wind and aerosol profiles from orbit
Author Affiliations +
Abstract
Our understanding of the Mars atmosphere and the coupled atmospheric processes that drive its seasonal cycles is limited by a lack of observation data, particularly measurements that capture diurnal and seasonal variations on a global scale. As outlined in the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey and the recent Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Goals Document, near-polar-orbital measurements of height-resolved aerosol backscatter and wind profiles are a high-priority for the scientific community and would be valuable science products as part of a next-generation orbital science package. To address these needs, we have designed and tested a breadboard version of a direct detection atmospheric wind lidar for Mars orbit. It uses a single-frequency, seeded Nd:YAG laser ring oscillator operating at 1064 nm (4 kHz repetition rate), with a 30-ns pulse duration amplified to 4 mJ pulse energy. The receiver uses a Fabry-Perot etalon as part of a dual-edge optical discrimination technique to isolate the Doppler-induced frequency shift of the backscattered photons. To detect weak aerosol backscatter profiles, the instrument uses a 4x4 photon-counting HgCdTe APD detector with a 7 MHz bandwidth and < 0.4 fW/Hz1/2 noise equivalent power. With the MARLI lidar breadboard instrument, we were able to measure Doppler shifts continuously between 1 and 30 m/s by using a rotating chopper wheel to impart a Doppler shift to incident laser pulses. We then coupled the transmitter and receiver systems to a laser ranging telescope at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) to measure backscatter and Doppler wind profiles in the atmosphere from the ground. We measured a 5.3 ± 0.8 m/s wind speed from clouds in the planetary boundary layer at a range of 4 to 6 km. This measurement was confirmed with a range-over-time measurement to the same clouds as well as compared to EMC meteorological models. Here we describe the lidar approach and the breadboard instrument, and report some early results from ongoing field experiments.
Conference Presentation
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Daniel R. Cremons, James Abshire, Graham Allan, Xiaoli Sun, Haris Riris, Michael Smith, Scott Guzewich, Anthony Yu, and Floyd Hovis "Development of a Mars lidar (MARLI) for measuring wind and aerosol profiles from orbit", Proc. SPIE 10791, Lidar Technologies, Techniques, and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing XIV, 1079106 (9 October 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2325408; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2325408
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