The Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics (IAP) has reportedly developed the world’s first and only portable instrument for measuring wind speed and temperature for atmospheric research during the day time. Apparently, the instrument has already helped in providing new insights into the atmospheric conditions at the Antarctic.
Citing reliable sources, the new generation of reliable, compact systems are comprised of an innovative, diode-pumped laser. It also consists of two digitizers and an Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) from Spectrum Instrumentation to offer the extremely high sensitivity, speed and real-time capability necessary for the research purposes.
For the uninitiated, atmospheric research deploys Doppler resonance LIDAR technique, which is the use of pulsed laser beams for measuring temperature and wind speed along the beam, by measuring the Doppler shifted and backscattered light at a height of 100 km in the atmosphere. The returning light signals can be blocked by sunlight as they are considerably weak, and the system developed by Leibniz IAP is aimed at solving this problem.
According to the sources, the difference between measurements of the night and day is that 100,000,000 times more background noise is present from the sun during the day. With the help of the new technology, nearly 1 atom per cubic centimeter of concentration is enough for temperature and wind measurements at 100 km distance, an atmospheric height that can only be accessed by rockets.
The project is aimed at creating compact mobile systems for measurement that can be taken across the world, said Dr. Josef Höffner, who leads the project. These systems need automatic operation at places with extreme environment conditions, like Antarctica, without long periods of access to them.
Dr. Höffner added that for this purpose, there was a need for components that are quite reliable and robust, in addition to providing the required levels of speed, flexibility and sensitivity for operating in the challenging conditions. The five-year warranty from Spectrum has assured the institute of the reliability of its instruments, he further mentioned.