Edinburgh Research Explorer

A flexible eye-safe lidar instrument for elastic-backscatter and DIAL

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions



  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Rights statement: Copyright (2012) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

    Final published version, 644 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
EventSPIE Remote Sensing 2012 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Sep 201227 Sep 2012


ConferenceSPIE Remote Sensing 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom


Developments in lidar have been driven largely by improvements in two key technologies: lasers and detectors. We describe here a lidar instrument for atmospheric remote sensing using the elastic-backscatter and differential-absorption lidar (DIAL) techniques. The instrument features an all-solid-state laser source combined with a flexible approach to detection providing portability, eye-safe operation and high sensitivity. The system is built around a custom-designed Newtonian telescope with a 0.38 m diameter primary mirror. Laser sources and detectors attach directly to the side of the telescope allowing for flexible customization with a range of equipment. The laser source is based on an optical parametric oscillator (OPO). The OPO is pumped by a neodymiumbased diode-laser pumped solid-state laser and angle-tuned by rotating the nonlinear conversion crystal. This provides a wide range of available wavelengths suitable for lidar within the 1.55 µm to 3.10 µm spectral region, where there exists a relatively high exposure limit for eye safety. The OPO delivers 1 mJ output pulse energy which is expanded and then transmitted coaxially from the telescope. Our goal is to make vertically-resolved measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations using DIAL. The source can rapidly be tuned between the on-line and off-line wavelengths to make a DIAL measurement. The use of the 1.6 µm wavelength region allows for several detection schemes. Whilst photodiode detectors are a very low-cost solution their limited sensitivity restricts the maximum range over which a signal can be detected. We therefore have designed the instrument to support alternative detection schemes including avalanche photodiodes (APDs).

    Research areas

  • Absorption , Atmospheric sensing , Avalanche photodetectors, Avalanche photodiodes, Backscatter, Crystals, Equipment and services, Eye, LIDAR, Laser eye protection


SPIE Remote Sensing 2012


Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Event: Conference

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 6023714