Monday, 10 January 2005: 11:00 AM
Wind Profiles from an Ultra-Violet Lidar
An unique lidar observatory, recently constructed at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, has been providing daily measurements of altitude resolved Doppler wind velocities, aerosol content, and faint cirrus clouds among other things of interest to meteorologists and astronomers. The lidar system, which can operate day or night, is a prototype developed to demonstrate incoherent ultra-violet lidar technology for a future space-based system that will measure the vertical structure of global winds from molecular backscatter. In addition, the lidar can be operated with a very short integration time to directly measure turbulence spectra over a range of elevations. Data from the UV lidar are used in a custom forecasting project that provides operational support for the world-class group of astronomical observatories located on the summit of Mauna Kea. This paper provides an overview of the lidarís function and the utility of the data. Results of comparisons with radiosonde data are discussed.