Because of the effect of defocusing and incomplete overlap between the laser beam and the receiver field of view, elastic lidar systems are unable to fully capture the close-range backscatter signal. Here we propose a method to empirically estimate and correct such effects, allowing to retrieve the lidar signal in the region of incomplete overlap. The technique is straightforward to implement. It produces an optimized numerical correction by the use of a simple geometrical model of the optical apparatus and the analysis of two lidar acquisitions taken at different elevation angles. Examples of synthetic and experimental data are shown to demonstrate the validity of the technique.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
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