Abstract

A simple analytic model is developed for the shot-noise-limited measurement precision of Doppler wind lidars based on the fringe imaging technique by use of either molecular or aerosol atmospheric backscatter. The model leads to etalon design parameters for an instrument optimized for precision. The ultimate measurement precision possible is two to four times the limit for a perfect, lossless receiver. The corresponding result for the double-edge Doppler analyzer was a ratio of 2.5, showing that the two methods are little different in this respect. For aerosol backscatter instruments, the wind speed dynamic range of the fringe imager is substantially greater than that for the edge detector. The etalon aperture needed to meet system etendue requirements is derived and shown to be approximately half that of each of the two etalons required by the double-edge technique. A comparison with more detailed modeling of fringe imaging Doppler-shift analyzers shows good agreement for the Rayleigh model and fair for the aerosol version, confirming the validity of this simpler technique for analyzer design and performance prediction.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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