Global Wind Measurement with a Pulsed, Coherent-Detection Lidar System
Presenting Author: Jirong Yu
Organization: NASA LaRC
Co-Author(s): Michael Kavaya, Jirong Yu, Sammy Henderson, Dave Emmitt
The 2017 NRC Earth Science Decadal Survey stressed the urgent need for global measurements of wind, repeating the 2007 Decadal Survey conclusions, and included global winds in its 14 "Priority Targeted Observables". The 35 "Most Important Science and Applications Questions" included questions from the Weather Panel about the planetary boundary layer, convective processes and weather prediction. The Weather Panel stated global winds would be a transformative new measurement. One of the most promising sensors to deliver global winds is the pulsed, 2-micron, coherent-detection, Doppler lidar which utilizes backscattered light from airborne aerosols moving with the wind. NASA Langley Research Center has been developing the required laser and lidar technology for both airborne and space applications. WIND-SP (Space Pathfinder) is a 3-year project to advance the space readiness of Langley's coherent-detection, 2-micron-laser, wind lidar technology. It comprises space mission and space instrument concept studies, and advancement of key lidar system components and subsystems that have not been needed for ground or aircraft operation, but are needed in space. WIND-SP includes partners Simpson Weather Associates (SWA) for science leadership, and Beyond Photonics (BP) for coherent wind lidar expertise. The technology status, current programs, space mission concept, and partnering ideas will be presented.