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Design and Operational Characteristics of the Shuttle Coherent Wind LidarNOAA has identified the measurement of atmospheric wind velocities as one of the key unmet data sets for its next generation of sensing platforms. The merits of coherent lidars for the measurement of atmospheric winds from space platforms have been widely recognized; however, it is only recently that several key technologies have advanced to a point where a compact, high fidelity system could be created. Advances have been made in the areas of the diode-pumped, eye-safe, solid state lasers and room temperature, wide bandwidth, semiconductor detectors operating in the near-infrared region. These new lasers can be integrated into efficient and compact optical systems creating new possibilities for the development of low-cost, reliable, and compact coherent lidar systems for wind measurements. Over the past five years, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has been working toward further advancing the solid state coherent lidar technology for the measurement of atmospheric winds from space. As part of this effort, UAH had established the design characteristics and defined the expected performance for three different proposed space-based instruments: a technology demonstrator, an operational prototype, and a 7-year lifetime operational instrument. SPARCLE is an ambitious project that is intended to evaluate the suitability of coherent lidar for wind measurements, demonstrate the maturity of the technology for space application, and provide a useable data set for model development and validation. This paper describes the SPARCLE instrument's major physical and environmental design constraints, optical and mechanical designs, and its operational characteristics.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Amzajerdian, Farzin
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Spiers, Gary D.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Peters, Bruce R.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Li, Ye
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Blackwell, Timothy S.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Geary, Joseph M.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 18, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Nineteenth International Laser Radar Conference
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Instrumentation And Photography
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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