Abstract

An airborne lidar has been developed for tropospheric ozone monitoring. The transmitter module is based on a solid-state Nd:YAG laser and stimulated Raman scattering in deuterium to generate three wavelengths (266, 289, and 316 nm) that are used for differential ozone measurements. Both analog and photon-counting detection methods are used to produce a measurement range up to 8 km. The system has been flown on the French Fokker 27 aircraft to perform both lower tropospheric (0.5–4-km) and upper tropospheric (4–12-km) measurements, with a 1-min temporal resolution corresponding to a 5-km spatial resolution. The vertical resolution of the ozone profile can vary from 300 to 1000 m to accommodate either a large-altitude range or optimum ozone accuracy. Comparisons with in situ ozone measurements performed by an aircraft UV photometer or ozone sondes and with ozone vertical profiles obtained by a ground-based lidar are presented. The accuracy of the tropospheric ozone measurements is generally better than 10–15%, except when aerosol interferences cannot be corrected. Examples of ozone profiles for different atmospheric conditions demonstrate the utility of the airborne lidar in the study of dynamic or photochemical mesoscale processes that control tropospheric ozone.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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