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Micro Pulse LIDAR (MPL)

LIDAR INSTRUMENT

The micropulse lidar (MPL) is installed in a thermoregulated container on the terrace of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Atmospheric Observatory’s

View of the Lidar container.

LIDAR laser beam goes through a high-quality optical window to avoid energy losses.

Lidar optical window.

Micro Pulse Lidar version 3 (MPL-3) is in routine operation within the NASA MPLNET and is co-managed in collaboration with the Spanish Institute for Aerospace Technology (Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, INTA). 

View of Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL-3).

MPL-3 presents some differences when compared to a conventional lidar: it is a small, easy-handle system with high autonomy, operational in full-time continuous mode (24 hours a day / 365 days a year), and presents a high repetition-rate (2500 Hz) and low-energy (~ 7 mJ) ‘eye-safe’ laser. The system is able to scan the atmosphere up to 30 km with a good enough signal-to-noise (s/n) relation (Welton et al., 2000; Campbell et al., 2002), well above the heights where tropospheric particles or cirrus clouds usually appear. The principal specifications of MPL-3 are summarized in Table 1. 

In general, MPL-3 measurements of backscattered signal are performed in 1-minute integrated time and at 75 m vertical resolution. Raw signals must be corrected by a number of factors affecting the instrument. A complete and detailed description of the correction procedure for the MPL raw signal is found in Campbell et al. (2002). In this sense, monthly calibrations of darkcurrent and afterpulse are performed, whereas overlap is carried out twice a year, for a general instrumental checking and maintenance control of the MPL-3 system. Full overlap is achieved at altitudes higher than 3 km. 

Transmitter
Laser
Nd:YLF
Wavelength (nm)
523
Pulse repetition rate (Hz)
2500
Pulse energy (mJ)
7
Receiver (telescope)
Type
Schmidt-Cassegrain
Diameter (cm)
20
Detector
Type
Avalanche photodiode (APD)
Mode
Photocounting

LIDAR DATA

Parameter
Instrument signal picture
Height-resolved backscattering and extinction coefficients are retrieved from micropulse lidar signal.