The Raman lidar for atmospheric moisture sensing (RAMSES) for unattended, continuous multiparameter atmospheric profiling is presented. A seeded frequency-tripled Nd:YAG laser serves as the light source. A nine-channel polychromator, nonfiber coupled to the main telescope (790 mm diameter), is used for far-range measurements. Near-range observations are performed with a three-channel polychromator, fiber coupled to a secondary telescope (200 mm diameter). Measurement parameters are water-vapor mixing ratio (MR), temperature, and the optical particle parameters, which are extinction coefficient, backscatter coefficient, lidar ratio, and depolarization ratio at 355 nm. Profiles of water-vapor MR are measured from close to the surface up to 14 km at night and 5 km during the day under favorable atmospheric conditions in 20 min. Temperature profiles of the troposphere and lower stratosphere are determined with the rotational-Raman technique. For the detection of the rotational Raman signals, a new beamsplitter/interference-filter experimental setup is implemented that is compact, robust, and easy to align. Furthermore, the polychromator design allows two independent methods for calibrating measurements of depolarization ratio. RAMSES optical design concept and experimental setup are detailed, and a description of the operational near-real-time data evaluation software is given. A multiday observation is discussed to illustrate the measurement capabilities of RAMSES.
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