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26 September 2007 Development of an airborne molecular direct detection Doppler lidar for tropospheric wind profiling
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Global measurement of tropospheric winds is a key measurement for understanding atmospheric dynamics and improving numerical weather prediction. Global wind profiles remain a high priority for the operational weather community and also for a variety of research applications including studies of the global hydrologic cycle and transport studies of aerosols and trace species. In addition to space based winds, high altitude airborne Doppler lidar systems flown on research aircraft, UAV's or other advanced sub-orbital platforms would be of great scientific benefit for studying mesoscale dynamics and storm systems such as hurricanes. The Tropospheric Wind Lidar Technology Experiment (TWiLiTE) is a three year program to advance the technology readiness level of the key technologies and subsystems of a molecular direct detection wind lidar system by validating them, at the system level, in an integrated airborne lidar system. The TWiLiTE Doppler lidar system is designed for autonomous operation on the WB57, a high altitude aircraft operated by NASA Johnson. The WB57 is capable of flying well above the mid-latitude tropopause so the downward looking lidar will measure complete profiles of the horizontal wind field through the lower stratosphere and the entire troposphere. The completed system will have the capability to profile winds in clear air from the aircraft altitude of 18 km to the surface with 250 m vertical resolution and < 3 m/s velocity accuracy. Progress in technology development and status of the instrument design will be presented.
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Bruce Gentry, Matthew McGill, Geary Schwemmer, Michael Hardesty, Alan Brewer, Thomas Wilkerson, Robert Atlas, Marcos Sirota, Scott Lindemann, and Floyd Hovis "Development of an airborne molecular direct detection Doppler lidar for tropospheric wind profiling", Proc. SPIE 6681, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring VIII, 66810B (26 September 2007);

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