Abstract

The well-known theory of absorption and fluorescence is briefly reviewed in a systematic manner for the Na D transitions. The resulting formalism is applied to simulation of Doppler-free saturation fluorescence spectra. With only one adjusting parameter, the nonradiative rate chosen to represent the time a thermal atom takes to move across the laser beams, the simulated Doppler-free spectra match the measured ones well for both D 1 and D 2 transitions over one decade of excitation intensities. Relative to the weighted center of the six D 2 hyperfine transition lines, the frequencies of the dominant Doppler-free features have been determined from a simulated spectrum to within ±0.1 MHz to be −651.4, 187.8, and 1068.0 MHz, respectively, for D 2 a, crossover, and D 2 b resonances. These features may be used as accurate frequency references for atmospheric spectroscopy. They are essential for the operation of the newly developed narrow-band Na fluorescence lidar for wind and temperature measurements in the mesopause region.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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