A high-spectral-resolution lidar can measure vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, pressure, the aerosol backscatter ratio, and the aerosol extinction coefficient simultaneously. We describe a system with these characteristics. The transmitter is a narrow-band (FWHM of the order of 74 MHz), injection-seeded, pulsed, double YAG laser at 532 nm. Iodine-vapor filters in the detection system spectrally separate the molecular and aerosol scattering and greatly reduce the latter (−41 dB). Operating at a selected frequency to take advantage of two neighboring lines in vapor filters, one can obtain a sensitivity of the measured signal-to-air temperature ratio equal to 0.42%/K. Using a relatively modest size transmitter and receiver system (laser power times telescope aperture equals 0.19 Wm<sup>2</sup>), our measured temperature profiles (0.5–15 km) over 11 nights are in agreement with balloon soundings to within 2.0 K over an altitude range of 2–5 km. There is good agreement in the lapse rates, tropopause altitudes, and inversions. In principle, to invert the signal requires a known density at one altitude, but in practice it is convenient to also use a known temperature at that altitude. This is a scalable system for high spatial resolution of vertical temperature profiles in the troposphere and lower stratosphere, even in the presence of aerosols.
© 2001 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article