An airborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) system has been developed for the remote measurement of gas and aerosol profiles in the troposphere and lower stratosphere. The multipurpose DIAL system can operate from 280 to 1064 nm for measurements of ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, water vapor, temperature, pressure, and aerosol backscattering. The laser transmitter consists of two narrow linewidth Nd: YAG pumped dye lasers with automatic wavelength control. The DIAL wavelengths are transmitted with a 100-µsec temporal separation to reduce receiver system complexity. A coaxial receiver system is used to collect and optically separate the DIAL and aerosol lidar returns. Photomultiplier tubes detect the back-scattered laser returns after optical filtering, and the analog signals from three tubes are digitized and stored on high-speed magnetic tape. Real-time gas concentration profiles or aerosol backscatter distributions are calculated and displayed for experiment control. Operational parameters for the airborne DIAL system are presented for measurements of ozone, water vapor, and aerosols in the 290-, 720-, and 600-nm wavelength regions, respectively. The first ozone profile measurements from an aircraft using the DIAL technique are discussed in this paper. Comparisons between DIAL and in situ ozone measurements show agreement to within ±5 ppbv in the lower troposphere. Lidar aerosol data obtained simultaneously with DIAL ozone measurements are presented for a flight over Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. DIAL system performance for profiling ozone in a tropopause folding experiment is evaluated, and the applications of the DIAL system to regional and global-scale tropospheric investigations are discussed.
E. V. Browell, A. F. Carter, S. T. Shipley, R. J. Allen, C. F. Butler, M. N. Mayo, J. H. Siviter, Jr., and W. M. Hall, "NASA multipurpose airborne DIAL system and measurements of ozone and aerosol profiles," Appl. Opt. 22, 522-534 (1983)