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Atmospheric Depolarization Lidar Experimental Receiver: A Space Shuttle Hitchhiker PayloadDevelopment work is underway at the Goddard Space Flight Center to construct a depolarization measuring atmospheric lidar receiver. The Atmospheric Lidar (AL) is tentatively scheduled to fly on the Space Shuttle in a late-1999 time frame. The AL will fly in conjunction with the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) and the Infrared Spectral Imaging Radiometer (ISIR) to provide a comprehensive package of atmospheric aerosol and cloud information. The AL operates in conjunction with the SLA laser transmitter and measures profiles of atmospheric backscatter at 532 nm. The receiver system discriminates between the parallel and perpendicular polarizations of the backscattered signal, thus providing depolarization ratios for scattering from clouds. The lidar receiver also provides cloud height and thickness measurements to complement the brightness temperature measurements generated by the ISIR thermal imager. The function of the AL is twofold. The primary function is to provide range-resolved measurements of atmospheric aerosol backscatter and depolarization ratio at 532 nm with 75 m vertical resolution. The scientific purpose of these measurements is to determine composition of clouds based on the depolarization ratio (i.e cloud content is water or ice), to determine cloud height and thickness, and to gain further understanding of the global distribution of aerosols. This information, when coupled with the cloud brightness measured by the ISIR thermal imager will provide a significant amount of information on cloud composition and radiative effects, particularly for cirrus and sub-visual cirrus clouds. A secondary function of the AL is to serve as an in-space test bed for lidar technology advancements, including a fully fiber-coupled receiver and photon counting from space. In addition, the data obtained by the AL will be used to develop software for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) flight mission.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
McGill, Matthew J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Scott, V. Stanley
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Spinhirne, James D.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD 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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