Differential absorption and scattering lidar (DIAL) is considered the method best suited for range-resolved detection of atmospheric trace gases. To our knowledge no DIAL systems have been described to date with sensitivities comparable with those of in situ ambient level monitors, although absorption cross sections are in principle large enough to allow such sensitivities if absorptivities on the percent level are detected. This paper reviews the features essential for reaching this aim.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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