The airborne multi-wavelength water vapor differential absorption lidar WALES: system design and performance
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- Wirth, M., Fix, A., Mahnke, P. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2009) 96: 201. doi:10.1007/s00340-009-3365-7
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A high-performance airborne water vapor differential absorption lidar has been developed during the past years. This system uses a four-wavelength/three-absorption line measurement scheme in the 935 nm H2O absorption band to cover the whole troposphere and lower stratosphere simultaneously. Additional high spectral resolution aerosol and depolarization channels allow precise aerosol characterization. This system is intended to demonstrate a future space-borne instrument. For the first time, it realizes an output power of up to 12 W at a high wall-plug efficiency using diode-pumped solid-state lasers and nonlinear conversion techniques. Special attention was given to a rugged optical layout. This paper describes the system layout and technical realization. Key performance parameters are given for the different subsystems.