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26 June 1996 Recent modifications, enhancements, and measurements with an airborne lidar system
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The NASA Langley Research Center's 14-inch airborne aerosol lidar system, which is routinely flown on several NASA aircraft including the DC-8 and the P-3, has been upgraded with several modifications to enhance its measurement capabilities. A new 900 mJ, 10 pps Nd:YAG laser was added with the capability of producing 5 watts of power at 1064 nm, 2.5 watts at 532 nm and 1.5 watts at 355 nm. The existing detector package has been modified to accommodate the three wavelengths and to permit cross-polarization measurements at 532 nm. New software was developed for on- line data visualization and analysis, and computer- controlled laser alignment is being incorporated. The system is now capable of producing real-time color modulated backscatter plots. Other additions include a Pentium/90 processor, GPS (Global Positioning System) and ARINC (Aeronautical Radio Inc.) receivers for acquiring accurate aircraft position data. In 1992 and 1993 this system was flown on several airborne missions to map and characterize the stratospheric aerosol cloud produced by the 1991 eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano. Efforts to map the global distribution of Pinatubo were made on both daytime as well as nighttime flights from Moffett Field in California to the South Pacific, to Central and South America, to Australia and to Alaska. In September 1994, the system (aboard NASA's P-3) made correlative measurements along shuttle orbit ground tracks in support of the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment flown on the Space Shuttle. In this paper the system upgrades will be discussed and selected data obtained during these recent airborne campaigns will be presented.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert J. DeCoursey, Mary T. Osborn, David M. Winker, and David C. Woods "Recent modifications, enhancements, and measurements with an airborne lidar system", Proc. SPIE 2748, Laser Radar Technology and Applications, (26 June 1996);


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