Multiband LiDAR systems, which are typically single wavelength in transmission and reception, are becoming more applicable for scientific use. However, traditional LiDAR receivers do not scale well to tens or hundreds of received bands. We introduce the design for a spectrographic receiver using an array detector for laser spectrometers and present two of the many possible applications: fluorescence spectroscopy in the visible range and IR reflectance spectroscopy. Each laser pulse has the capability of exciting a target in various wavelengths, and a spectrographic receiver would be able to interpret this excitation, while a typical LiDAR consisting of single wavelength receiver would not. Using a spectrograph in a system with a pulsed laser in the visible or UV range is capable of the detection of fluorescent signal. These spectra reveal the presence of organics and is an applicable technology for planetary science. A spectrograph coupled with a pulsed laser in the IR range shows capability of detecting the presence of water in various forms also applicable technology for both Earth and planetary science. Both systems utilize a Czerny-Turner spectrograph design with a ZnSe prism for the dispersion of light onto an Avalanche Photo Diode (APD). This paper introduces the concept and design of a spectrographic receiver for laser spectrometers, as well as two possible applications.
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.
With ultrafast transmission electron microscopy (UTEM), access can be gained to the spatiotemporal scales required to directly visualize rapid, non-equilibrium structural dynamics of materials. This is achieved by operating a transmission electron microscope (TEM) in a stroboscopic pump-probe fashion by photoelectrically generating coherent, well-timed electron packets in the gun region of the TEM. These probe photoelectrons are accelerated down the TEM column where they travel through the specimen before reaching a standard, commercially-available CCD detector. A second laser pulse is used to excite (pump) the specimen in situ. Structural changes are visualized by varying the arrival time of the pump laser pulse relative to the probe electron packet at the specimen. Here, we discuss how ultrafast nanoscale motions of crystalline materials can be visualized and precisely quantified using diffraction contrast in UTEM. Because diffraction contrast sensitively depends upon both crystal lattice orientation as well as incoming electron wavevector, minor spatial/directional variations in either will produce dynamic and often complex patterns in real-space images. This is because sections of the crystalline material that satisfy the Laue conditions may be heterogeneously distributed such that electron scattering vectors vary over nanoscale regions. Thus, minor changes in either crystal grain orientation, as occurs during specimen tilting, warping, or anisotropic expansion, or in the electron wavevector result in dramatic changes in the observed diffraction contrast. In this way, dynamic contrast patterns observed in UTEM images can be used as sensitive indicators of ultrafast specimen motion. Further, these motions can be spatiotemporally mapped such that direction and amplitude can be determined.