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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 14 — Jul. 15, 2013
  • pp: 16398–16414

Short-range optical air data measurements for aircraft control using rotational Raman backscatter

Michael Fraczek, Andreas Behrendt, and Nikolaus Schmitt  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 14, pp. 16398-16414 (2013)

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A first laboratory prototype of a novel concept for a short-range optical air data system for aircraft control and safety was built. The measurement methodology was introduced in [Appl. Opt. 51, 148 (2012)] and is based on techniques known from lidar detecting elastic and Raman backscatter from air. A wide range of flight-critical parameters, such as air temperature, molecular number density and pressure can be measured as well as data on atmospheric particles and humidity can be collected. In this paper, the experimental measurement performance achieved with the first laboratory prototype using 532 nm laser radiation of a pulse energy of 118 mJ is presented. Systematic measurement errors and statistical measurement uncertainties are quantified separately. The typical systematic temperature, density and pressure measurement errors obtained from the mean of 1000 averaged signal pulses are small amounting to < 0.22 K, < 0.36% and < 0.31%, respectively, for measurements at air pressures varying from 200 hPa to 950 hPa but constant air temperature of 298.95 K. The systematic measurement errors at air temperatures varying from 238 K to 308 K but constant air pressure of 946 hPa are even smaller and < 0.05 K, < 0.07% and < 0.06%, respectively. A focus is put on the system performance at different virtual flight altitudes as a function of the laser pulse energy. The virtual flight altitudes are precisely generated with a custom-made atmospheric simulation chamber system. In this context, minimum laser pulse energies and pulse numbers are experimentally determined, which are required using the measurement system, in order to meet measurement error demands for temperature and pressure specified in aviation standards. The aviation error margins limit the allowable temperature errors to 1.5 K for all measurement altitudes and the pressure errors to 0.1% for 0 m and 0.5% for 13000 m. With regard to 100-pulse-averaged temperature measurements, the pulse energy using 532 nm laser radiation has to be larger than 11 mJ (35 mJ), regarding 1-σ (3-σ) uncertainties at all measurement altitudes. For 100-pulse-averaged pressure measurements, the laser pulse energy has to be larger than 95 mJ (355 mJ), respectively. Based on these experimental results, the laser pulse energy requirements are extrapolated to the ultraviolet wavelength region as well, resulting in significantly lower pulse energy demand of 1.5 – 3 mJ (4–10 mJ) and 12–27 mJ (45–110 mJ) for 1-σ (3-σ) 100-pulse-averaged temperature and pressure measurements, respectively.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
(290.5860) Scattering : Scattering, Raman
(280.4788) Remote sensing and sensors : Optical sensing and sensors
(280.5475) Remote sensing and sensors : Pressure measurement
(280.6780) Remote sensing and sensors : Temperature

ToC Category:
Remote Sensing

Original Manuscript: April 18, 2013
Revised Manuscript: May 23, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: May 24, 2013
Published: July 2, 2013

Michael Fraczek, Andreas Behrendt, and Nikolaus Schmitt, "Short-range optical air data measurements for aircraft control using rotational Raman backscatter," Opt. Express 21, 16398-16414 (2013)

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  1. M. Fraczek, A. Behrendt, and N. Schmitt, “Laser-based air data system for aircraft control using Raman and elastic backscatter for the measurement of temperature, density, pressure, moisture, and particle backscatter coefficient,” Appl. Opt.51(2), 148–166 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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