Evaluation of a Sperry Lidar Ceilometer.
Final rept. Apr 73-Mar 74,
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STERLING VA TEST AND EVALUATION LAB
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An evaluation was conducted of a Sperry Lidar Ceilometer during 1973 at the Sterling Research and Development Center. When possible, evaluations were made relative to the Rotating Beam Ceilometer RBC. The Sperry Lidar Ceilometer is a compact, single-ended cloud height measuring instrument. No special installation tools are needed. Its digital output is compatible with modern data loggers and processors. The lidar uses a Gallium-Arsenide diode array to produce low power 350w energy pulses at the nonvisible 906 nanometer wave length. This, combined with a 10 inch beam diameter, makes the instrument eyesafe. Maximum ranging error against a target placed horizontally from 300 to 4000 ft was found to be 30 ft. Comparison of lidar and 800 ft baseline RBC cloud height measurements produced fairly sharp, clearcut results. Modified author abstract