Abstract

The inversion of lidar returns from homogeneous atmospheres has been done customarily through the well-known slope method. The logarithmic operation over the range-corrected and system-normalized received signal used in this method introduces a bias in the statistics of the noise-affected processed signal that can severely distort the estimates of the atmospheric attenuation and backscatter coefficients under measurement. It is shown that a fitting of the theoretically expected exponential signal to the range-corrected received one, using as the initial guess the results provided by the slope method and a least-squares iterative procedure, can yield enhanced accuracy under low signal-to-noise ratios and especially in moderate-to-high extinction conditions.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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