OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 41, Iss. 9 — Mar. 20, 2002
  • pp: 1750–1759

Simulation study for cloud detection with space lidars by use of analog detection photomultiplier tubes

Zhaoyan Liu and Nobuo Sugimoto  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 41, Issue 9, pp. 1750-1759 (2002)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (647 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Output signal electrons from photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) have neither a Gaussian nor a Poisson distribution because of changes induced by multiplication when the number of input signal photons and dark electrons is fewer than ∼100. Therefore the assumption of a Gaussian distribution of signal electrons cannot be used in simulations for space lidar observations with PMTs, for which the number of return signal photons is normally small. A theory is introduced for analog detection with PMTs that have Poisson-distributed secondary-electron emission at each dynode stage. The theory is validated by straightforward numerical simulations. It is shown that the multiplication in PMTs is a multiply stochastic Poisson process and that the distribution of output signal electrons can be interpreted basically as Neyman type A. Analysis by the threshold method of cloud detection with a space lidar shows considerable difference between a Gaussian approximation and the exact distribution. The result indicates that the threshold level must be optimized for the exact distribution. Return signals were simulated for a proposed space lidar, and cloud detection with the threshold method was demonstrated.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(040.5250) Detectors : Photomultipliers

Original Manuscript: February 26, 2001
Revised Manuscript: September 24, 2001
Published: March 20, 2002

Zhaoyan Liu and Nobuo Sugimoto, "Simulation study for cloud detection with space lidars by use of analog detection photomultiplier tubes," Appl. Opt. 41, 1750-1759 (2002)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. Z. Liu, P. Voelger, N. Sugimoto, “Simulations of the observation of clouds and aerosols with the Experimental Lidar in Space Equipment system,” Appl. Opt. 39, 3120–3137 (2000). [CrossRef]
  2. K. Sassen, B. S. Cho, “Subvisual-thin cirrus lidar dataset for satellite verification and climatological research,” J. Appl. Meteorol. 31, 1275–1285 (1972). [CrossRef]
  3. C. M. R. Platt, S. A. Young, A. I. Carswell, S. R. Pal, M. P. McCormick, D. Winker, M. D. Guasta, L. Stefanutti, W. L. Eberhard, R. M. Hardesty, P. H. Flamant, R. Valentin, B. Forgan, G. G. Gimmestad, H. Jager, S. S. Khmelevtsov, I. Kolev, B. Kaprielov, D.-R. Lu, K. Sassen, V. S. Shamanaev, O. Uchino, Y. Mizuno, U. Wandinger, C. Weitkamp, A. Ansmann, C. Wooldridge, “The Experimental Cloud Lidar Pilot Study (ECLIPS) for cloud-radiation research,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 75, 1634–1654 (1994). [CrossRef]
  4. D. M. Winker, “Cloud distribution statistics from LITE,” presented at the 19th International Laser Radar Conference, Annapolis, Maryland, 6–10 July, 1998.
  5. J. M. Pelon, M. Desbois, P. H. Flamant, H. L. Treut, G. Seze, M. Doutriaux, V. Trouillet, P. Chazette, S. Elouragini, C. Glamant, F. Lieutaud, J.-L. Raffaelli, R. Valentin, “A study of the potential contribution of a backscatter lidar to climatological studies,” Final Rep., contract AO/1-2668/92/NL/CN (European Space Research and Technology Center, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1996).
  6. M. Doutriaux-Boucher, J. Pelon, V. Trouillet, G. Seze, H. Le Treut, P. Flamant, M. Desbois, “Simulation of satellite lidar and radiometer retrievals of a general circulation model three-dimentional cloud data set,” J. Geophys. Res. 103, 26,025–26,039 (1998). [CrossRef]
  7. N. Sugimoto, Z. Liu, P. Voelger, A. Shimizu, Y. Sasano, K. Asai, M. Ishizu, T. Itabe, T. Imai, “Science applications of the multi-FOV lidar for ATMOS-B1/ERM,” in Lidar Remote Sensing for Industry and Environment Monitoring, T. Itabe, U. N. Singh, N. Sugimoto, eds., Proc. SPIE4153, 399–406 (2000). [CrossRef]
  8. D. M. Winker, A. Wielicki, “The PICASSO-CENA mission,” in Sensors, Systems, and Next Generation Satellites, H. Fujisada, ed., Proc. SPIE3870, 26–36 (1999).
  9. R. H. Kingston, Detection of Optical and Infrared Radiation, Vol. 10 of Springer Series in Optical Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1978). [CrossRef]
  10. H. M. Melchior, M. B. Fisher, F. R. Arams, “Photodetectors for optical communication systems,” Proc. IEEE 58, 1466–1486 (1970). [CrossRef]
  11. B. E. A. Saleh, Photoelectron Statistics with Applications to Spectroscopy and Optical Communication (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1978).
  12. R. M. Measures, Laser Remote Sensing, Fundamentals and Applications (Wiley, New York, 1984).
  13. J. Neyman, “On a new class of ‘contagious’ distribution,” Ann. Math. Stat. 10, 35–57 (1939). [CrossRef]
  14. M. C. Teich, “Role of the doubly stochastic Neyman type-A and Thomas counting distributions in photon detection,” Appl. Opt. 20, 2457–2467 (1981). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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