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Categories: 2019, Proposed Space Technology

OAWL: A High-heritage US Doppler Wind Lidar for Next-Generation Space-based Wind and Aerosol Observations

Improving weather forecast skill with global wind profile measurements is one solution to earth challenges from hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. ESA’s Aeolus Doppler Wind Lidar (DWL) launched on 23 August 2018, demonstrating the first global, vertically resolved, direct wind profile measurements from space. As single line-of-sight (LOS) Aeolus wind measurements demonstrate impact on numerical weather prediction (NWP), its three-year mission lifetime and the absence of a planned follow-on mission will present a challenging data gap for global wind science and NWP centers benefitting from the data. In the U.S., development of DWL missions has been a lower priority, however 2018 saw the NAS 2017 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space and the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture (NSOSA) Study highlight the importance of wind measurements from Space-Based DWL. Meanwhile, Ball Aerospace has developed the Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (OAWL) instrument to remotely measure wind profiles from space. With support from NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office, Ball has demonstrated and validated prototypes of the OAWL instrument in aircraft-based testing. The OAWL approach for space builds on heritage from the aircraft demonstrator, the successful lidar on the CALIPSO mission, and many technologies currently being demonstrated on Aeolus. The OAWL system was proposed to NASA’s 2016 Earth Venture Instrument opportunity and, though not selected, was rated selectable in 2018 by NASA’s TMCO review panel, indicating system readiness for a space-based mission. The OAWL mission concept builds on Aeolus by providing two LOSs to constrain wind speed and direction, while also reducing stability requirements on laser frequency and platform pointing. This presentation will review the OAWL measurement approach and validation and discuss how OAWL wind measurements can build on the Aeolus legacy for next-generation space-based wind lidars

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Author: Sara Tucker
Topic: Proposed Space Technology/ Service Solutions to Terrestrial Challenges

  • Paper Tucker, Sara - OAWL A High-heritage US Doppler Wind Lidar for Next-Generation Space-based Wind and Aerosol Observations .pdf

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  • Presentation Tucker, Sara - OAWL- A High-heritage US Doppler Wind Lidar for Next-Generation Space-based Wind and Aerosol Observations.pdf

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