Abstract

We implement and test what, to our knowledge, is the first deployable coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) system based on a compact, inexpensive all-semiconductor laser (SL). To demonstrate the field performance of our SL-CDL remote sensor, we compare a 36 h time series of averaged radial wind speeds measured by our instrument at an 80 m distance to those simultaneously obtained from an industry-standard sonic anemometer (SA). An excellent degree of correlation (R2=0.994 and slope=0.996) is achieved from a linear regression analysis of the CDL versus SA wind speed data. The lidar system is capable of providing high data availability, ranging from 85% to 100% even under varying outdoor (temperature and humidity) conditions during the test period. We also show the use of our SL-CDL for monitoring the dependence of aerosol backscatter on relative humidity. This work points to the feasibility of a more general class of low-cost, portable remote sensors based on all-SL emitters for applications that require demanding laser stability and coherence.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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