Articles | Volume 23, issue 5
28 Jul 2005
 | 28 Jul 2005

The Bonn University lidar at the Esrange: technical description and capabilities for atmospheric research

U. Blum and K. H. Fricke

Abstract. The Bonn University operates a Rayleigh/Mie/Raman backscatter lidar at the Esrange near the Swedish city of Kiruna, north of the Arctic circle. The lidar system covers the atmosphere from about 4 km to 100 km altitude and it is capable of measuring aerosols in the tropo-, strato-, and mesosphere, as well as of determining temperature profiles in the aerosol-free part of the atmosphere (i.e. above 30-km altitude). Density tuned fixed-spacer etalons provide daylight capability and thus increased sensitivity to noctilucent clouds during polar summer. Polarisation measurements allow liquid and solid phase discrimination for aerosol and cloud particles in the tropo- and stratosphere. The derived temperature profiles can be used for the detection and analysis of atmospheric gravity waves. Although several lidar experiments are situated in polar latitudes, a comprehensive instrument which covers the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere, is daylight capable, and observes temperature profiles, as well as aerosols, is exceptional. In this article a technical description, in particular, of the optical configuration of this experiment is given, as well as an overview of achievable geophysical parameters. The potential for geophysical analyses is shown.

Keywords. Atmospheric composition and structure (Instruments and techniques; Aerosols and particles; Pressure, density and temperature) – Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (Middle atmosphere dynamics)