Abstract

The viability and performance of using a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) in atmospheric lidar applications is experimentally compared against the well-established use of photomultiplier tubes. By using a modified lidar setup for simultaneous data acquisition of both types of sensors, we demonstrate that a SiPM can offer appropriate qualities for this specific application where the detection of fast, extremely low light pulses and large dynamic range signals are essential capabilities. The experimental results show that the SiPM has an appropriate behaviour offering suitable capabilities for elastic, backscatter aerosol lidars. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing SiPM for atmospheric lidar applications.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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