Abstract

Utilization of a two-color airborne lidar system in the systematic study of a major oceanographic feature is reported here for the first time. An excimer pumped dye laser was optically and electronically integrated into the NASA Airborne Oceanographic Lidar for simultaneous use with a frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser. The output beams exit the laser system along parallel paths after being produced on an alternating pulse basis at a combined rate of 12.5 pps. Results are presented for missions flown over a Gulf Stream Warm Core Ring (WCR) as well as over shelf, slope, Gulf Stream, and Sargasso Sea waters. From the airborne data a high coherence is shown between the two-color chlorophyll a data and between the Nd:YAG chlorophyll a and phycoerythrin responses within each of these water masses. However, distinct differences in the response patterns of these photopigments are shown to exist between the differing water masses. At certain of the boundaries separating the water masses a sharp transition is seen to occur, while at others a wider transition zone was observed in which the correlation between the photopigments appears to degrade.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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