Abstract

A differential absorption lidar (DIAL) system has been developed for the measurement of water vapor throughout the free troposphere [3 to 12km above sea level (asl.)] with high vertical resolution varied from 50m next to the ground to 300m above an altitude of 10km. The system was installed at the Schneefernerhaus high-altitude research station (2675m asl., Zugspitze, Germany). The DIAL system is based on a tunable single-mode laser system with a high pulse energy of currently 250mJ and a repetition rate of 20s1. For lidar operation with energies typically between 100mJ and 150mJ and an integration time of 1000s (10000 laser shots for both DIAL wavelengths) a vertical range of at least 10km has been demonstrated even under dry conditions and during daytime, while daytime measurements up to 12km have been possible under humid conditions. The system was intercompared with radiosondes, which suggests an agreement within 5% in a major part of the operating range. Further improvements are planned in the upper troposphere to approach the accuracy requirements needed in climate research.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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