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26 September 2007 Initial results from a water vapor differential absorption lidar (DIAL) using a widely tunable amplified diode laser source
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It is widely agreed that water vapor is one of the most important gasses in the atmosphere with regards to its role in local weather, global climate, and the water cycle. Especially with the growing concern for understanding and predicting global climate change, detailed data of water vapor distribution and flux and related feedback mechanisms in the lowest 3 km of the troposphere, where most of the atmospheric water vapor resides, are required to aid in climate models. Improved capabilities to monitor range-resolved tropospheric water vapor profiles continuously in time at many locations are needed. One method of obtaining this data in the boundary layer with improved vertical resolution relative to passive remote sensors is with a Differential Absorption LIDAR (DIAL) utilizing a compact laser diode source. Montana State University, with the expertise of its laser source development group, has developed a compact water vapor DIAL system that utilizes a widely tunable amplified external cavity diode laser (ECDL) transmitter. This transmitter has the ability to tune across a 17 nm spectrum near 830 nm, allowing it access to multiple water vapor absorption lines of varying strengths. A novel tuning system tunes and holds the ECDL to within +/- 88 MHz (0.20 pm) of the selected wavelength. The ECDL acts as a seed source for two commercial cascaded tapered amplifiers. The receiver uses commercially available optics and a fiber-coupled Avalanche Photodiode (APD) detector. Initial nighttime measurements of water vapor profiles taken over Bozeman, Montana, with comparisons to radiosonde-derived profiles will be presented.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael D. Obland, Amin R. Nehrir, Kevin S. Repasky, Joseph A. Shaw, and John L. Carlsten "Initial results from a water vapor differential absorption lidar (DIAL) using a widely tunable amplified diode laser source", Proc. SPIE 6681, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring VIII, 66810I (26 September 2007);


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