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20 August 2008 Novel laser approach for remote sensing of atmospheric CO2 column
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We present preliminary experimental results, sensitivity measurements and discuss our new CO2 lidar system under development. The system is employing an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA), superluminescent light emitting diode (SLED) as a source and our previously developed Fabry-Perot interferometer subsystem as a detector part. Global measurement of carbon dioxide column with the aim of discovering and quantifying unknown sources and sinks has been a high priority for the last decade. The goal of Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS) mission is to significantly enhance the understanding of the role of CO2 in the global carbon cycle. The National Academy of Sciences recommended in its decadal survey that NASA put in orbit a CO2 lidar to satisfy this long standing need. Existing passive sensors suffer from two shortcomings. Their measurement precision can be compromised by the path length uncertainties arising from scattering within the atmosphere. Also passive sensors using sunlight cannot observe the column at night. Both of these difficulties can be ameliorated by lidar techniques. Lidar systems present their own set of problems however. Temperature changes in the atmosphere alter the cross section for individual CO2 absorption features while the different atmospheric pressures encountered passing through the atmosphere broaden the absorption lines. Currently proposed lidars require multiple lasers operating at multiple wavelengths simultaneously in order to untangle these effects. Our current goal is to develop an ultra precise, inexpensive new lidar system for precise column measurements of CO2 changes in the lower atmosphere that uses a Fabry-Perot interferometer based system as the detector portion of the instrument and replaces the narrow band laser commonly used in lidars with the newly available high power SLED as the source. This approach reduces the number of individual lasers used in the system from three or more to one-considerably reducing the risk of failure. It also tremendously reduces the requirement for wavelength stability in the source putting this responsibility instead on the Fabry-Perot subsystem.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
E. Georgieva, E. Wilson, and W. S. Heaps "Novel laser approach for remote sensing of atmospheric CO2 column", Proc. SPIE 7081, Earth Observing Systems XIII, 70811G (20 August 2008);

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