A multiwavelength laser ranging system has been designed for measuring atmospheric path delay in satellite laser ranging systems. The instrument measures the difference between the propagation times of 532 and 355 nm pulses as a measure of integrated air density. The present design uses a frequency-tripled dye mode-locked Nd:YAG laser as a pulse source and subnanosecond response time photomultipliers as detectors. Studies indicate that recovery of the atmospheric path delay in satellite ranging to the 1-cm level will require the differential arrival time measurements with an accuracy of 3–7 ps. Initial horizontal path test results are presented.
James B. Abshire, "Pulsed multiwavelength laser ranging system for measuring atmospheric delay," Appl. Opt. 19, 3436-3440 (1980)