Research Papers

Development of a widely tunable amplified diode laser differential absorption lidar for profiling atmospheric water vapor

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael D. Obland

Montana State University, Physics Department, EPS 264, Bozeman, MT 23681

Kevin S. Repasky, Amin R. Nehrir

Montana State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Cobleigh 610, Bozeman, MT 59717

John L. Carlsten

Montana State University, Physics department, EPS 264, Bozeman, Montana 59717

Joseph A. Shaw

Montana State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, 610 Cobleigh Hall, Bozeman, Montana 59717

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 4(1), 043515 (March 18, 2010). doi:10.1117/1.3383156
History: Received July 15, 2008; Revised January 29, 2010; Accepted March 4, 2010; March 18, 2010; Online March 18, 2010
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Abstract

This work describes the design and testing of a highly-tunable differential absorption lidar (DIAL) instrument utilizing an all-semiconductor transmitter. This new DIAL instrument transmitter has a highly-tunable external cavity diode laser (ECDL) as a seed laser source for two cascaded commercial tapered amplifiers. The transmitter has the capability of tuning over a range of ~ 17 nm centered at about 832 nm to selectively probe several water vapor absorption lines. This capability has been requested in other recent DIAL experiments for wavelengths near 830 nm. The transmitter produces pulse energies of approximately 0.25 μJ at a repetition rate of 20 kHz. The linewidth is exceptionally narrow at <0.3 MHz, with frequency stability that has been shown to be +/- 88 MHz and spectral purity of 0.995. Tests of the DIAL instrument to prove the validity of its measurements were undertaken. Preliminary water vapor profiles, taken in Bozeman, Montana, agree to within 5-60% with profiles derived from co-located radiosondes 800 meters above ground altitude. Below 800 meters, the measurements are biased low due to a number of systematic issues that are discussed. The long averaging times required by low-power systems have been shown to lead to biases in data, and indeed, our results showed strong disagreements on nights when the atmosphere was changing rapidly, such as on windy nights or when a storm system was entering the area. Improvements to the system to correct the major systematic biases are described.

© 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Michael D. Obland ; Kevin S. Repasky ; Amin R. Nehrir ; John L. Carlsten and Joseph A. Shaw
"Development of a widely tunable amplified diode laser differential absorption lidar for profiling atmospheric water vapor", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 4(1), 043515 (March 18, 2010). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3383156


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