Abstract

A ground-based differential absorption lidar (DIAL) system is described which has been developed for vertical range-resolved measurements of water vapor. The laser transmitter consists of a ruby-pumped dye laser, which is operated on a water vapor absorption line at 724.372 nm. Part of the ruby laser output is transmitted simultaneously with the dye laser output to determine atmospheric scattering and attenuation characteristics. The dye and ruby laser backscattered light is collected by a 0.5-m diam telescope, optically separated in the receiver package, and independently detected using photomultiplier tubes. Measurements of vertical water vapor concentration profiles using the DIAL system at night are discussed, and comparisons are made between the water vapor DIAL measurements and data obtained from locally launched rawinsondes. Agreement between these measurements was found to be within the uncertainty of the rawinsonde data to an altitude of 3 km. Theoretical simulations of this measurement were found to give reasonably accurate predictions of the random error of the DIAL measurements. Confidence in these calculations will permit the design of aircraft and Shuttle DIAL systems and experiments using simulation results as the basis for defining lidar system performance requirements.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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