Abstract

The design features of, and first observations from, a new elastic backscatter lidar system at a wavelength of 1543 nm are presented. The transmitter utilizes stimulated Raman scattering in high-pressure methane to convert fundamental Nd:YAG radiation by means of the 1st Stokes shift. The wavelength-converting gas cell features multipass operation and internal fans. Unlike previous lidar developments that used Raman scattering in methane, the pump beam is not focused in the present configuration. This feature prevents optical breakdown of the gas inside the cell. Additionally, the gas cell is injection seeded by a diode to improve conversion efficiency and beam quality. The receiver uses a 40.6-cm-diameter telescope and a 200-μm InGaAs avalanche photodiode. The system is capable of operating in a dual-wavelength mode (1064 and 1543 nm simultaneously) for comparison or in a completely eye-safe mode. The system is capable of transmitting an energy of more than 200 mJ/pulse at 10 Hz. Aerosol backscatter data from vertical and horizontal pointing periods are shown.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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