The design, development, and first measurements of a novel mesospheric temperature lidar are described. The lidar technique employs mesospheric Fe as a fluorescence tracer and relies on the temperature dependence of the population difference of two closely spaced Fe transitions. The principal advantage of this technique is that robust solid-state broadband laser source(s) can be used that enables the lidar to be deployed at remote locations and aboard research aircraft. We describe the system design and present a detailed analysis of the measurement errors. Correlative temperature observations, made with the Colorado State University Na lidar at Fort Collins, Colorado, are also discussed. Last, we present the initial range-resolved temperature measurements in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere over both the North and the South Poles obtained with this system.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(280.0280) Remote sensing and sensors : Remote sensing and sensors
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
Xinzhao Chu, Weilin Pan, George C. Papen, Chester S. Gardner, and Jerry A. Gelbwachs, "Fe Boltzmann Temperature Lidar: Design, Error Analysis, and Initial Results at the North and South Poles," Appl. Opt. 41, 4400-4410 (2002)