A new Doppler Wind Lidar concept for obtaining space-based vector winds throughout the troposphere: data product simulations
Recently Ball Aerospace with support from NASA has developed the Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (OAWL) that can use aerosol returns throughout the troposphere to provide useful returns better than 50 % of the time. This greatly enhanced sensitivity in low aerosol concentrations provides expectations that very precise wind measurements can be achieved without coherent detection and thus simplify (i.e. lower the costs of) the instrument needed to make hybrid (molecular and aerosol) wind observations.
While the “full up” Ball DWL concept may include molecular return detection to supplement the aerosol products, we report here only on detailed simulations conducted by SWA of the aerosol based products. These simulations have been done to generate inputs to Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSE)s that will allow quantification of the relative impacts of the OAWL based DWLs compared to other DWL configurations including ADM and coherent/direct detection ideas. We also provide metrics that express the spatial, temporal and data precision expected from the OAWL compared to current global wind observations used in global forecast model data assimilation systems.