Cloud Studies Using High Power Eye-Safe Laser Radar
Improving our knowledge of clouds is critical to improving the accuracy of weather and climate models.
Most laser based cloud detection systems operate using visible or near infrared wavelength. This severely limits the power that can used within eyesafe limits and prevents high resolution depth profiles of cloud structure from being obtained.
As part of our aerial methane sensing we have recently demonstrated a cloud sensing laser radar that provides exquisite detail of cloud structure at very high temporal resolution.
This project will involve optimising this laser radar and determining whether it can be used to detect sub-visual cirrus which is poorly understood and not well represented in climate models. Once automated this system can be run 24 hours per day in a campaign mode to gain some significant statistics on the formation of this cloud over Adelaide.