Abstract

This paper describes research to characterize the benefits of a multiwavelength oceanographic LiDAR for various water types. Field measurements were conducted to establish endmembers representative of both typical and extremely challenging natural conditions. Laboratory tests were performed using a prototype multiwavelength LiDAR in water tanks with optical conditions simulating both sediment-laden and biologically rich water types. LiDAR models were used to simulate the LiDAR signal from both field and laboratory experiments. Our measurements and models show that using a laser wavelength of 470–490 nm in the open ocean leads to an improvement factor of 1.50–1.75 compared to a 532 nm system. In more turbid areas using a laser wavelength of 560–580 nm leads to an improvement factor of 1.25. We conclude by demonstrating how using multiple LiDAR wavelengths can help detect and characterize constituents in the water column.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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