Investigating Suppression of Cloud Return with a Novel Optical Configuration of a Doppler Lidar

Liqin Jin*, Jakob Mann, Mikael Sjöholm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The full-width at half-maximum or probe length of the Lorentzian weighting function of continuous-wave Doppler lidars increases quadratically with the focus distance, which results in a deterioration in the spatial resolution of measurements. What is worse, a Doppler lidar is susceptible to moving objects that are far away from the intended measurement point. Therefore, we suggest a novel configuration to mitigate these problems by deploying two co-planar quarter-wave plates with orthogonal fast axes in the conventional continuous-wave lidar system, without any change to the other optical or electronic components. If the vertically polarized laser beam that we emit goes out and its backscattered beam returns back through the same quarter-wave plate, the returned beam will become horizontally polarized. The horizontally polarized backscattered beam cannot beat with the vertically polarized local oscillator to generate a Doppler signal. However, the polarization of the returned beam will remain unchanged if the emitted beam travels out through one plate and returns through the other. In this way, the influence of a moving backscattering particle far away from the focus point can be reduced. Both theoretical and experimental results show that, in a proper configuration, the probe length of the continuous-wave lidar can be reduced by 10%, compared with that of the conventional lidar. In addition, the fat tails of the Lorentzian weighting function can be suppressed by up to 80% to reduce the return from a cloud, albeit with a large reduction (perhaps 90%) in the signal power. This investigation provides a potential method to increase the spatial resolution of Doppler wind lidars and suppress the low-hanging cloud return.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3576
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume14
Issue number15
ISSN2072-4292
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Remote sensing
  • Doppler lidar
  • Quarter-wave plate
  • Spatial resolution
  • Lorentzian weighting function
  • Cloud return

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