Abstract

Backscatter lidar detection systems have been designed and integrated at NASA Langley Research Center using IR heterojunction phototransistors. The design focused on maximizing the system signal-to-noise ratio rather than noise minimization. The detection systems have been validated using the Raman-shifted eye-safe aerosol lidar (REAL) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Incorporating such devices introduces some systematic effects in the form of blurring to the backscattered signals. Characterization of the detection system transfer function aided in recovering such effects by deconvolution. The transfer function was obtained by measuring and fitting the system impulse response using single-pole approximation. An iterative deconvolution algorithm was implemented in order to recover the system resolution, while maintaining high signal-to-noise ratio. Results indicated a full recovery of the lidar signal, with resolution matching avalanche photodiodes. Application of such a technique to atmospheric boundary and cloud layers data restores the range resolution, up to 60m, and overcomes the blurring effects.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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