Boeing Defense & Space Group has developed and validated a LIDAR system for optically measuring air speed over a wide variety of altitudes and atmospheric conditions. Our technique uses a focused beam to backscatter the doppler shifted light off of a single atmospheric aerosol particle, thereby enhancing the return signal by over four orders of magnitude compared with non-focused LIDARS. We successfully demonstrated this approach on flight tests aboard a NASA Ames DC-8 where we measured airspeed over a broad range of test parameters (0 to 40 kft altitude, 1 to 500 knots airspeed in clear air and clouds). This paper summarizes the results of these flight tests.
Rick L. McGann,
"Flight test results from a low-power Doppler optical air data sensor", Proc. SPIE 2464, Air Traffic Control Technologies, (12 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.211483; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.211483