OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 12 — Apr. 20, 1999
  • pp: 2605–2613

Rocketborne Rayleigh lidar for in situ measurements of neutral atmospheric density

Torkild Eriksen, Ulf-Peter Hoppe, Eivind V. Thrane, and Tom A. Blix  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 12, pp. 2605-2613 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (372 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We describe the design of a small Rayleigh scattering lidar for launch on a sounding rocket as well as the first, to our knowledge, in situ measurements of neutral number density performed with a rocketborne lidar in the mesosphere. The aim of the experiment is to study the dynamics of the neutral atmosphere with emphasis on turbulent structures and gravity waves. The altitude resolution of the density profile is better than 10 m. The uncertainty is 0.3% below 55 km and better than 1% to an altitude of 65 km. The lidar technique meets the requirement of measurement of total molecular density outside the shock front surrounding the supersonic payload, which is necessary for precision measurements of neutral atmospheric density. We have compared different component technologies and design approaches and show performance calculations for two electro-optical systems. The first system has laser and detector components that were available in 1993, the second has new solutions that became available in 1995. The second system has a signal-to-noise ratio that is five times higher than the first and employs a pulsed high-power laser diode array as the transmitter and a large-area avalanche photodiode as the receiver.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(040.5160) Detectors : Photodetectors
(140.2010) Lasers and laser optics : Diode laser arrays
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
(290.5870) Scattering : Scattering, Rayleigh

Original Manuscript: August 31, 1998
Revised Manuscript: December 22, 1998
Published: April 20, 1999

Torkild Eriksen, Ulf-Peter Hoppe, Eivind V. Thrane, and Tom A. Blix, "Rocketborne Rayleigh lidar for in situ measurements of neutral atmospheric density," Appl. Opt. 38, 2605-2613 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. T. A. Blix, “In situ studies of turbulence in the middle atmosphere by means of electrostatic ion probes,” (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Kjeller, 1988).
  2. T. A. Blix, E. V. Thrane, Ø. Andreassen, “In situ measurements of the fine-scale structure and turbulence in the mesosphere and the lower thermosphere by means of electrostatic positive ion probes,” J. Geophys. Res. 95, 5533–5548 (1990). [CrossRef]
  3. T. Eriksen, U.-P. Hoppe, E. V. Thrane, T. A. Blix, “A rocket-borne Rayleigh lidar experiment in the middle atmosphere,” (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1995), pp. 523–528.
  4. H. v. Lucke, F. Dingler, M. Rapp, F.-J. Lübken, W. J. Riedel, H. Wolf, “The rocketborne laser absorption spectrometer MASERATI: Scientific aims, experimental method, technical design, and laboratory tests,” (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1997), pp. 305–310.
  5. U.-P. Hoppe, E. V. Thrane, T. A. Blix, T. Eriksen, “Rocket for optical studies of the neutral atmosphere by laser detection (RONALD),” (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1991), pp. 93–98.
  6. F.-J. Lübken, “MASERATI—a new rocketborne tunable diode laser experiment to measure trace gases in the middle atmosphere,” (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1991), pp. 99–104.
  7. R. H. Kingston, Detection of Optical and Infrared Radiation (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1979).
  8. M. J. Taylor, K. Henriksen, “Gravity wave studies at polar latitudes,” in Electromagnetic Coupling in the Polar Clefts and Caps, P. E. Sandholt, A. Egeland, eds. (Kluwer Academic, Dordsecht, The Netherlands, 1989), pp. 421–434. [CrossRef]
  9. U.S. Standard Atmosphere 1976, NOAA-S/T 76-1562 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C., 1976).
  10. E. L. Fleming, S. Chandra, J. J. Barnett, M. Corney, “Zonal mean temperature, pressure, zonal wind and geopotential height as function of latitude,” in Cospar International Reference Atmosphere 1986, D. Rees, J. J. Barnett, K. Labitzke, eds., Adv. Space Res.10, (12)11–(12)59 (1990) (Pergamon, London, 1989).
  11. U.-P. Hoppe, T. Eriksen, E. V. Thrane, T. A. Blix, J. Fiedler, F.-J. Lubken, “Observations in the polar middle atmosphere by rocketborne Rayleigh lidar: first results,” Earth Planets Space (to be published).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited