Numerous road maps to space have been presented for the use of Doppler Wind Lidar to provide global winds, yet these roadmaps have mainly been technology centric. The plan and roadmap presented here is more measurement centric and relies on synergisms between DWL and other existing or planned wind measuring systems.
The effect of clouds and the performance of wind measuring instruments in the presence of clouds is a specific focus that will be discussed. Early space wind mission concepts favored higher pulse energies for coherent wind lidar since aerosol backscatter sensitivity is improved proportionally with pulse energy multiplied by square root of pulse rate (not the laser average power). However, space mission simulations have revealed the large effect of clouds on mission performance. A higher pulse rate laser would increase the probability of some laser shots penetrating the porosity of the partly cloudy scenes and would lower the representativeness error of the wind measurement for assimilation in NWP models. Based on these considerations, we make a case to utilize a higher pulse rate 2-micron coherent lidar that was initially designed for measurement of carbon dioxide column content.