Abstract

The high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL) instrument described in this paper utilizes the fundamental and second-harmonic output from an injection seeded Nd:YAG laser as the laser transmitter. The light scattered in the atmosphere is collected using a commercial Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with the optical receiver train first splitting the fundamental and second-harmonic return signal with the fundament light monitored using an avalanche photodiode. The second-harmonic return signal is mode matched into a tunable confocal Fabry–Perot (CFP) interferometer with a free spectral range of 7.5 GHz and a finesse of 50.7 (312) at 532 nm (1064 nm) placed in the optical receiver for spectrally filtering the molecular and aerosol return signals. The light transmitted through the CFP is used to monitor the aerosol return signal while the light reflected from the CFP is used to monitor the molecular return signal. Data collected with the HSRL are presented and inversion results are compared to a co-located solar radiometer, demonstrating the successful operation of the instrument. The CFP-based filtering technique successfully employed by this HSRL instrument is easily portable to other arbitrary wavelengths, thus allowing for the future development of multiwavelength HSRL instruments.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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