LIDAR Nd:YAG Laser Beam at Table Mountain

A Dual-Pulsed YAG Laser Beams to the Upper Stratosphere Above Table Mountain

This picture was taken on May 21, 1992 of the dual-pulsed Nd:YAG Laser operated by the LADAR
Facility at Table Mountain. The LIDAR (Laser Radar) Facility at Table Mountain has been operating
for over 6 years. The facility measures the aerosol (particles) in the stratosphere, and the ozone layer.
Measurements can be made in the region 15 to 55 kms above sea level. Although the above picture
only shows the green laser, two different wavelengths can and are used (1064 nm, IR, and 532 nm,
green) to calculate the sizes of the particles. Backscattered light is received by the lidar all the way
up to 80 kms, well above the stratosphere. The air temperature can be determined from this signal
as well as fluctuations analyzed for atmospheric wave activity. This laser pulses at 10 Hz, with an
equivalent output of 40 megawatts per pulse.

The Zeiss-Ikon 35mm camera with a 50mm lens set at f/2 was used to take this 3 minute exposure on
Kodak Kodacolor 200 ASA film.

Table Mountain Observatory, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is located just west of the
town of Wrightwood, California at an elevation of 7500 feet.

Return to Photo Page     e-mail