Principal Investigator: David N. Whiteman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Proposal Title: Airborne Scanning Raman Lidar System Based on a Holographic Optical Element Scanner/Receiver
Ground based Raman lidar systems have come to be regarded as the best source of high spatial and temporal resolution atmospheric water vapor and aerosol extinction data. These measurements are very valuable for studies of atmospheric radiation balance, convective storm development and micro- to meso-scale meteorology. In addition, many other useful atmospheric measurements are possible using Raman lidar technology.
In order to make the transition of this technology to airborne platforms more feasible, we propose a novel approach to Raman lidar measurements from aircraft which uses holographic element technology. The proposed system would greatly reduce the weight and complexity of a scanning Raman lidar system allowing it to be easily deployed from aircraft. The holographic element acts as a large grating making various Raman wavelengths available for detection via a fiber optic array. This approach eliminates a large number of optics while allowing several experiments to be possible using as few as one detector.
The proposed work is shared among U.S. government, private and university groups. The work will be led from NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. The scientific leadership and responsibility for the success of the effort is with NASA/GSFC with David Whiteman serving as the Principal Investigator. The design and construction of the new Raman holographic elements required for this system will be performed by Ralcon Development Laboratory in Paradise, Utah. Scientific collaboration, program management and post-doctoral and graduate student assistance will be provided by the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMBC) Physics Department and the Joint Center for Earth System's Technology which is housed at UMBC.