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Earth Science
Storm M., Stevenson G., Hovis F., Gavert W., Dang X., Darab A., Chuang T., Burns P. - Lidar and Laser technologies for NASAТs Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) basing on the International Space Station (JEM-EF)


Abstract: The paper studies the methodological approaches and evaluates the possibility to use the technology of acquiring and processing information about the location, composition and distribution of aerosol clouds, water suspensions and other particles in Earth’s atmosphere using active optical instruments (lasers and photon counters). The research purpose is the analysis of the prospects of creation of the new generation of high technology measurement instruments using the external company services, including the space and land-based components, analogous to NASA’s lidar Cloud Aerosol Transport System, basing in the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experimental Module of the International Space Station. To solve the research task, the authors apply the system and structural-functional approaches. The authors use the general methods of physics and engineering methods, particularly, the methods of astrometry, spectrophotometry, optoelectronics, laser technology and engineering design. The technology components and the space measurement complex, including two 25W multiwave solid-state impulse lasers and 32 avalanche multichannel photodetectors, had successfully worked for more than 300 hours in outer space during February 2016 and helped collect practical information about the characteristics of aerosols and some gases in Earth’s atmosphere. The authors demonstrate practical possibility to involve a small group of engineers of the private Fibertek, Inc. company for the fast and cost-competitive creation of the new generation of space lidars, including such high-technology operations as construction and design, creation of an operational product, its testing and deployment in space. 
Keywords: Lidar, Laser detection system, Atmosphere of Earth, Pollution, Cloud Aerosol Transport, International Space Station, NASA, Solid-state laser, Avalanche photodetector, Optical Engeneering
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