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Design, construction, and testing of the enhanced Micro Pulse Lidar




Wood, David Romaine, Jr., author
Cox, Stephen K., author

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For many years, the complexity and fragility of most lidar (an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging) systems have restricted their use in field operations. Recent technological developments have allowed for more compact and rugged designs which afford easy transportability. Such a system is the Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) developed by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). An important feature of the MPL is the eye-safe manner in which it is operated. This document describes the Enhanced Micro Pulse Lidar (EMPL) which is based on the MPL design. The EMPL employs a higher powered laser but still can be operated in an eye-safe mode. A faster detector and new data collection system provide finer range resolution than standard MPL models. But, the most significant improvement is the addition of a user-programmable timing and control system which enables the user to optimize eye-safety, system power and range resolution for specific targets. This thesis details the enhancements made to the NASA design. The construction and optical alignment procedures will be discussed. Issues pertaining to hardware and system software will be examined. Test data are presented as are suggestions for the system's further development.


November 1997.
Also issued as David Romaine Wood's thesis (M.S.) -- Colorado State University, 1997.

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Cloud physics
Lasers in aeronautics
Satellite meteorology


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