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Coherent Doppler Laser Radar: Technology Development and ApplicationsNASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has been investigating, developing, and applying coherent Doppler laser radar technology for over 30 years. These efforts have included the first wind measurement in 1967, the first airborne flights in 1972, the first airborne wind field mapping in 1981, and the first measurement of hurricane eyewall winds in 1998. A parallel effort at MSFC since 1982 has been the study, modeling and technology development for a space-based global wind measurement system. These endeavors to date have resulted in compact, robust, eyesafe lidars at 2 micron wavelength based on solid-state laser technology; in a factor of 6 volume reduction in near diffraction limited, space-qualifiable telescopes; in sophisticated airborne scanners with full platform motion subtraction; in local oscillator lasers capable of rapid tuning of 25 GHz for removal of relative laser radar to target velocities over a 25 km/s range; in performance prediction theory and simulations that have been validated experimentally; and in extensive field campaign experience. We have also begun efforts to dramatically improve the fundamental photon efficiency of the laser radar, to demonstrate advanced lower mass laser radar telescopes and scanners; to develop laser and laser radar system alignment maintenance technologies; and to greatly improve the electrical efficiency, cooling technique, and robustness of the pulsed laser. This coherent Doppler laser radar technology is suitable for high resolution, high accuracy wind mapping; for aerosol and cloud measurement; for Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) measurements of atmospheric and trace gases; for hard target range and velocity measurement; and for hard target vibration spectra measurement. It is also suitable for a number of aircraft operations applications such as clear air turbulence (CAT) detection; dangerous wind shear (microburst) detection; airspeed, angle of attack, and sideslip measurement; and fuel savings through headwind minimization. In addition to the airborne and space platforms, a coherent Doppler laser radar system in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could provide battlefield weather and target identification.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Kavaya, Michael J. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Arnold, James E.
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Communications and Radar
Meeting Information
Multi/Hyperspectral Sensors, Measurements, Modeling and Simulation(Redstone Arsenal, AL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.