Abstract

The design, development, and first measurements of a novel mesospheric temperature lidar are described. The lidar technique employs mesospheric Fe as a fluorescence tracer and relies on the temperature dependence of the population difference of two closely spaced Fe transitions. The principal advantage of this technique is that robust solid-state broadband laser source(s) can be used that enables the lidar to be deployed at remote locations and aboard research aircraft. We describe the system design and present a detailed analysis of the measurement errors. Correlative temperature observations, made with the Colorado State University Na lidar at Fort Collins, Colorado, are also discussed. Last, we present the initial range-resolved temperature measurements in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere over both the North and the South Poles obtained with this system.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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