Ionospheric RF lidar
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1990 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 25, Issue 6, pages 1299–1309, November-December 1990
How to Cite
1990), Ionospheric RF lidar, Radio Sci., 25(6), 1299–1309, doi:10.1029/RS025i006p01299., , and (
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 NOV 1989
- Manuscript Received: 7 JUL 1989
A new diagnostic consisting of a high-power radio frequency (RF) or microwave transmitter and a ground-based lidar (light detection and ranging) system is proposed for probing the ionosphere at heights of 80–200 km. The high-power transmitter creates energetic electrons in the ionosphere, which excite molecules to higher energy levels. These excited molecules become targets for a laser ranging system by resonantly absorbing and reradiating light at specific wavelengths. A laser pulse tuned to a specific transition wavelength is fired from a ground-based laser, and the reradiated light is detected by a ground-based light collector. A study of atmospheric species for ranging was performed, and the most suitable species were found to be N2 and N2+. A laser whose output is matched exactly to the vibrational-rotational spectrum of ionospheric N2 is proposed as the lidar master oscillator instead of a tunable dye laser.