A mobile lidar (light detection and ranging) system for environmental monitoring is described. The optical and electronic systems are housed in a truck with a retractable rooftop transmission and receiving mirror, connected to a 40-cm-diameter vertically looking telescope. Two injection-seeded Nd:YAG lasers are employed in connection with an optical parametric oscillator-optical parametric amplification transmitter, allowing deep-UV to mid-IR wavelengths to be generated. Fast switching that employs piezoelectric drivers allows multiwavelength differential absorption lidar for simultaneous measurements of several spectrally overlapping atmospheric species. The system can also be used in an imaging multispectral laser-induced fluorescence mode on solid targets. Advanced LabVIEW computer control and multivariate data processing render the system versatile for a multitude of measuring tasks. We illustrate the monitoring of industrial atmospheric mercury and hydrocarbon emissions, volcanic sulfur dioxide plume mapping, fluorescence lidar probing of seawater, and multispectral fluorescence imaging of the facades of a historical monument.
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