lidar for routine meteorological observations

View More View Less
  • 1 Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif.
© Get Permissions
Full access

Lidar, using pulsed lasers as energy sources, applies the radar principle at wavelengths in and near the visual spectrum to probe the atmosphere. It can detect particulate matter of much smaller dimensions and sparser concentration than is possible with meteorological radar. Lidar may be used to measure cloud base heights although difficulties arise with diffuse clouds, especially in foggy conditions. Inhomogeneities in turbidity that occur at the heights of temperature inversions in the relatively clear atmosphere are also revealed by lidar. Examples of work in progress that show promise of providing a measurement of visibility are presented.

It is concluded that lidar can already contribute usefully in routine meteorological service, but that its full potential in ceilometry and visibility measurement awaits further developments. For routine unattended use, high pulse-rate low peak-power lidars are advocated on grounds of safety.

Lidar, using pulsed lasers as energy sources, applies the radar principle at wavelengths in and near the visual spectrum to probe the atmosphere. It can detect particulate matter of much smaller dimensions and sparser concentration than is possible with meteorological radar. Lidar may be used to measure cloud base heights although difficulties arise with diffuse clouds, especially in foggy conditions. Inhomogeneities in turbidity that occur at the heights of temperature inversions in the relatively clear atmosphere are also revealed by lidar. Examples of work in progress that show promise of providing a measurement of visibility are presented.

It is concluded that lidar can already contribute usefully in routine meteorological service, but that its full potential in ceilometry and visibility measurement awaits further developments. For routine unattended use, high pulse-rate low peak-power lidars are advocated on grounds of safety.

Save