Lidar for multiple backscattering and depolarization observations

R J Allen, C M Platt
Applied Optics 1977 December 1, 16 (12): 3193-9
A lidar system that can measure multiple scattering and depolarization in the atmosphere is being used to study the climatic effects of cirrus clouds and to perform other investigations. The lidar system and its novel aspects are described in this paper. The influence of multiple scattering on noise, signal, and SNR is considered. Special receiver field stops incorporated for multiple scattering measurements, use of low voltage to control the photomultiplier tube gain, and a precision power/energy monitor are described. A technique for aligning transmitter and receiver axes and measuring transmitter beamwidth is presented. The multiple-scattered components of backscattered light are determined by inserting a center-blocked field stop to restrict the receiver field of view to the region outside of the diverging transmitted beam. Typical returns with and without the opaque field stop indicate the amplitude of multiple scattering from cirrus clouds and prove the feasibility of this technique. The depolarization ratio delta and backscatter coefficients from an altostratus cloud illustrate the potential of these quantities for the study of cloud structure and phase.

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