Next Generation Fiber Coherent Lidar System for Wake Vortex Detection
LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) systems have proven their value in the remote measurement of spatially resolved atmospheric wind velocities in a number of applications, including the detection of clear-air turbulence, wind shear, aircraft wake vortices, and microbursts. The capacity of coherent LIDAR systems to produce a continuous, real-time 3D scan of wind velocities via detection of the Mie backscatter of atmospheric aerosols in clear-air conditions and at stand-off distances of up to 50 km at relatively low pulse energy gives this technology a clear advantage over other atmospheric monitoring technologies.During the execution of contract NNX11CG87P SIBELLOPTICS assembled the key components of the fiber-based transceiver in a breadboard system and demonstrated performance against proprietary LIDAR modeling. In addition, we were able to demonstrate 12 hour battery-powered operation, a unique, compact BPLO method that uses quad-cells, and were able to take a significant step towards future miniaturization by packaging the fiber sub-assembly on a 1-ft x 1-ft optical bench.In Phase II, it is proposed that, based upon Phase I efforts, a brassboard version of the fiber-LIDAR system be designed, assembled, and tested including data collection, processing, and display capabilities. The system will include custom opto-mechanical designs of mounts and benches, packaged components for reduced SWAP and more robust operation, and higher output energy to increase sensitivity. Software will be developed to demonstrate real-time capability to collect, process, and display data in real-time using a unique interactive user interface.
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