NOAA's Wave Propagation Laboratory operated a plume-tracking lidar during two field experiments investigating atmospheric dispersion in complex terrain. The lidar successfully acquired data on oil fog plume behavior by detecting the elastic backscatter of the pulsed output of a frequency-doubled ruby laser. This UV wavelength (0.3472 μm) met stringent eye safety restrictions. An analysis of signal and noise levels demonstrates that plume definition at a wavelength of 0.3472 μm is superior in many cases to that at 0.6943 μm when pulse energies are low enough to be eye-safe at the range to the plume. This is often true in spite of the high threshold set by the large molecular scatter from the ambient air at the UV wavelength. Backscatter coefficients of oil fog at the shorter wavelength were 1–4× larger than at the longer wavelength.
© 1983 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 16, 1983
Published: August 1, 1983
W. L. Eberhard, "Eye-safe tracking of oil fog plumes by UV lidar," Appl. Opt. 22, 2282-2285 (1983)