The theory of the double-edge lidar technique for measuring the wind with molecular backscatter is described. Two high-spectral-resolution edge filters are located in the wings of the Rayleigh–Brillouin profile. This doubles the signal change per unit Doppler shift, the sensitivity, and improves measurement accuracy relative to the single-edge technique by nearly a factor of 2. The use of a crossover region where the sensitivity of a molecular- and an aerosol-based measurement is equal is described. Use of this region desensitizes the molecular measurement to the effects of aerosol scattering over a velocity range of ±100 m/s. We give methods for correcting short-term, shot-to-shot, frequency jitter and drift with a laser reference frequency measurement and methods for long-term frequency correction with a servo control system. The effects of Rayleigh–Brillouin scattering on the measurement are shown to be significant and are included in the analysis. Simulations for a conical scanning satellite-based lidar at 355 nm show an accuracy of 2–3 m/s for altitudes of 2–15 km for a 1-km vertical resolution, a satellite altitude of 400 km, and a 200 km × 200 km spatial resolution.
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