Abstract

We present the first wind-velocity profiles obtained with a direct-detection Doppler lidar that uses a Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) as spectral discriminator. The measurements were performed in the lower stratosphere, between 10 and 40 km in altitude, at the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP), France, during nighttime. They are in excellent agreement with those obtained simultaneously and independently with the already validated double Fabry–Perot interferometer (FPI) of the OHP Doppler lidar (mean difference lower than the combined standard deviation). A statistical analysis shows that the random error obtained with this experimental MZI is 1.94 times the Cramer-Rao lower bound and is approximately half of that given by the FPI (both operating in photometric mode). Nevertheless, the present MZI measurements are sensitive to the presence of atmospheric particles and need an additional correction, whereas the OHP FPI is designed to be insensitive to particulate scattering.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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