[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 11, No. 6 (2004) 378-384]
© 2004 The Optical Society of Japan

Experimental Discussion on Eye-Safe 1.54 μm Photon Counting Lidar Using Avalanche Photodiode

Yasunori SAITO*, Hidefumi KURATA, Hiroshi KURUSHIMA, Fumitoshi KOBAYASHI, Takuya D. KAWAHARA, Akio NOMURA, Tomoyuki MARUYAMA1 and Mitsuyoshi TANAKA1

Faculty of Engineering, Shinshu University, 4-17-1 Wakasato, Nagano City, Nagano 380-8553, Japan
1Development Department, Hioki E. E. Corporation, 81 Koizumi, Ueda City, Nagano 386-1192, Japan

(Received April 13, 2004; Accepted September 6, 2004)

A Mie lidar system with an eye-safe wavelength of 1.54 μm was developed and its performance characteristics were experimentally discussed. The wavelength was generated by a Nd:YAG based methane-shifted Raman laser. The collected backscattering light was detected by an InGaAs avalanche photodiode working in photon counting mode at that wavelength. Results of atmospheric observation showed clearly the dynamics of multi-layered clouds up to an altitude of 7 km. The system's performance was confirmed on the point of signal to noise ratio in both the observation and the simulation. Advantages of the eye-safe 1.54 μm wavelength in lidar atmospheric research and system limitations were discussed.

Key words: Mie lidar, atmospheric observation, eye-safety, 1.54 μm, photon counting, avalanche photodiode

*Corresponding Author E-mail address: saitoh@cs.shinshu-u.ac.jp