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The National Center for Atmospheric Research developed an eye-safe aerosol lidar system for atmospheric investigation. Using stimulated Raman scattering (a third-order nonlinear process) the instrument output is eye-safe at approximately 1.5 μm. The instrument has a range of up to 9 km. It also has performance and durability advantages over many previously reported eye-safe lidar configurations. Eye-safe operation is necessary to broaden the available locations for measurements, including more populated areas and near airports.
The system utilized higher pump pulse power than previous implementations. This, in combination with diode laser injection seeding allowed eye-safe lidar measurements of atmospheric composition as a function of both distance and time.
Wavelength's WLD3343 and WTC3243 were used to control the seed laser. It was crucial to control the seed laser's output wavelength in order to optimize the beam output. The WLD laser driver paired with the WTC temperature controller allowed for precise tuning of the wavelength.