High spectral resolution lidar is a technique that enables disentangling atmospheric extinction and backscatter observed by lidar to obtain calibrated retrieval of backscatter coefficient and extinction coefficient of clouds and aerosols. Due to the performance requirements on the technique, HSRL are relatively expensive such that large networks of the instruments is considered cost prohibitive. At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, we have developed and demonstrated a low-cost HSRL based on a diode laser transmitter and a rubidium cell narrowband filter. This system architecture is approximately an order of magnitude less expensive than typical HSRL with very low maintenance requirements, making it ideal for cloud and aerosol networks.
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