Abstract

Water vapor and carbon dioxide are the most dominant greenhouse gases directly contributing to the Earth’s radiation budget and global warming. A performance evaluation of an airborne triple-pulsed integrated path differential absorption (IPDA) lidar system for simultaneous and independent monitoring of atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide column amounts is presented. This system leverages a state-of-the-art Ho:Tm:YLF triple-pulse laser transmitter operating at 2.05 μm wavelength. The transmitter provides wavelength tuning and locking capabilities for each pulse. The IPDA lidar system leverages a low risk and technologically mature receiver system based on InGaAs pin detectors. Measurement methodology and wavelength setting are discussed. The IPDA lidar return signals and error budget are analyzed for airborne operation on-board the NASA B-200. Results indicate that the IPDA lidar system is capable of measuring water vapor and carbon dioxide differential optical depth with 0.5% and 0.2% accuracy, respectively, from an altitude of 8 km to the surface and with 10 s averaging. Provided availability of meteorological data, in terms of temperature, pressure, and relative humidity vertical profiles, the differential optical depth conversion into weighted-average column dry-air volume-mixing ratio is also presented.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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