A technique is proposed for remote sensing of atomic oxygen by laser excitation of a two-photon transition. Excitation at 2256 Å and subsequent fluorescence at 8447 Å allow probing of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere without interference by absorption. The two-photon excitation rate is calculated, and its dependence on laser power, duration, and linewidth is discussed. Values are given for remote sensing from a spacecraft at 200 km ranging down to 80 km with 1-km range resolution. Accuracies of better than 10% are expected with a 1 J, a 20-psec excitation pulse, and a 1-m2 collecting telescope.
© 1979 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 20, 1978
Published: February 1, 1979
T. J. McIlrath, R. Hudson, A. Aikin, and T. D. Wilkerson, "Two-photon lidar technique for remote sensing of atomic oxygen," Appl. Opt. 18, 316-319 (1979)