The design of Fabry–Perot etalons for direct detection Doppler wind lidar from a satellite is considered for two direct detection methods, fringe imaging (multichannel) and double edge. The area solid-angle product of the etalon for each technique is derived and shown to be inherently larger, for a given etalon aperture, for the fringe imager than for the double-edge Doppler analyzer. Modeling of the Doppler measurement accuracy of a spaceflight direct detection wind lidar shows that a very large optical aperture, 2 m or more, is necessary. Optical throughput matching to a 2-m collector requires, for the fringe-imaging Doppler analyzer, an etalon with 60 mm aperture, whereas the double-edge technique would require two etalons of 200 mm aperture, or a split-aperture etalon of 400 mm working aperture. Because the two direct detection methods have been shown to have practically identical intrinsic sensitivities (measurement accuracies per unit signal), this difference in etalon dimensions may be a significant selection consideration.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Jack A. McKay, "Fabry-Perot Etalon Aperture Requirements for Direct Detection Doppler Wind Lidar from Earth Orbit," Appl. Opt. 38, 5859-5866 (1999)