Abstract

Since 1989 Service d’Aéronomie du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique has used an incoherent Doppler lidar technique for wind measurements in the atmosphere. A new-generation Rayleigh–Mie Doppler lidar has been designed and is currently operated at the Observatoire de Haute Provence (France). We give a detailed description of this instrument and highlight two important upgrades leading to quasi-simultaneous and absolute measurements of the wind from ≈8 to 50 km altitude. The possible sources of error are identified and quantified in terms of accuracy in the wind determination. Experimental results are given in detail, and a validation of the measurements is performed with the help of ancillary data. A first climatological description of the mean wind is briefly reported.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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