(LiDAR関連)Collecting complex climate data thanks to compact alexandrite lasers

Higher atmospheric layers are becoming more and more interesting for climate researchers, but the areas above 40 km are only directly accessible with sounding rockets. A newly developed LIDAR system (Light Detection and Ranging) with a diode-pumped alexandrite laser will soon make such research possible remotely. Scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are developing a system that is not only easy to transport but also works independently. In the future, a LIDAR network will be able to deliver data from the atmosphere continuously and on a large scale.

Climate change is a hot topic. Understanding it scientifically, however, requires valid models of temperature and wind distribution in the atmosphere. Measurements in the upper stratosphere up to the thermosphere (30-120 km) are difficult to capture. An innovative ground-based LIDAR system now offers a new approach to collecting this data. Since the 1990s, the IAP in Kühlungsborn has been pioneering research into the mesosphere with its own LIDAR systems. Owing to its flash lamp-pumped alexandrite laser, the system filled a complete ship container. Its use was also limited since it consumed a great deal of energy and required complex alignment.