Atmospheric Remote Sensing: Instruments

Ozone Profiling Atmospheric Lidar (OPAL)

OPAL lidar instrument photo

OPAL lidar mobile laboratory aboard ship.


Research applications include:

  • Ozone formation/evolution monitoring
  • Ozone transport studies
  • Aerosol in polluted areas

Contact: Christoph Senff

Basic Parameters Measured

  • Ozone concentration profiles
  • Particle backscatter profiles

Field Projects

Project NameDateLocation
TexAQS2Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS) 2006200607July-September 2006Houston, Texas
NEAQS2New England Air Quality Study (NEAQS) 2004200406June-August 2004 New Hampshire
NEAQSNew England Air Quality Study (NEAQS)200207July-August 2002 New Hampshire
Aircraft Plume StudyAircraft Plume Study200105May 2001
TexAQSTexas Air Quality Study (TexAQS)200008August-September 2000Houston, Texas
SOSASouthern Oxidants Study (SOS) SuperSite199908August 1999Atlanta, Georgia
SOSSouthern Oxidants Study (SOS) 99199906June-July 1999Nashville, Tennessee
SCOSSouthern California Ozone Study (SCOS)199706June-October 1997El Monte, California
LIFTLidars In Flat Terrain (LIFT)199608August 1996 Champaign/Urbana, Illinois
VictorvilleVictorville Ozone Transport Experiment199508August 1995Victorville, California
LAFRSLos Angeles Free Radical Study (LAFRS)199309September 1993Los Angeles, California
DavisDavis Intercomparison Experiment199307July 1993Davis, California

Typical Specifications

Wavelength 266 nm 289 nm 299 nm 355 nm
Pulse energy 6 mJ 2 mJ 2 mJ 6 mJ
Pulse rate 1 - 10 Hz
Scanning Directions Vertical, horizontal, and in a single vertical plane
Minimum range 60 m
Maximum range 1.5 - 3 km 6 - 7 km 6 - 7 km 9 km
Range Resolution 15 m
Maximum range3 km
Range Resolutionbelow 1 km: 60 - 90 m
1 - 2 km: 100 - 150 m
2 - 3 km: 150 - 300 m
AccuracyBetter than +/- 10 ppb

Specifications prior to 1999:

Wavelength 266 nm 289 nm 355 nm
Pulse energy 20 mJ 1 mJ 6 mJ
Pulse rate 2 - 10 Hz
Scanning Directions Vertical, horizontal, and in a single vertical plane
Minimum range 15 - 60 m
Maximum range1.5 - 3 km 6 - 7 km 10 km
Maximum range3 km
Accuracy Better than +/- 10 ppb

Zhao, Y., R.D. Marchbanks, and R.M. Hardesty, Environmental Technology Laboratory's Transportable Lower Troposphere Ozone Lidar and Its Applications in Air Quality Studies, 42nd SPIE Annual meeting, Application of Lidar to Current Atmospheric Topics II, Proceedings of SPIE #3127, July 1997, 53-62.

Zhao, Y., R.M. Hardesty, and J.E. Gaynor, Demonstration of a new and Innovative Ozone Lidar's Capability to Measure Vertical Profiles of Ozone Concentration and Aerosol in the Lower Troposphere, Final report to the California Air Resources Board, December 1994.

Zhao, Y., R.M. Hardesty and M.J. Post, A Multibeam Transmitter for Signal Dynamic Range Reduction in Incoherent Lidar Systems, Applied Optics 45, 7623-7632, 1992.

Zhao, Y., J.N. Howell, and R.M. Hardesty, Transportable Lidar for the Measurement of Ozone Concentration and Aerosol Profiles in the Lower Troposphere, A&WMA/SPIE International Symposium on Optical Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, 11-14 October 1993, Atlanta, Georgia, 310-320.