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Airborne lidar measurements of smoke plume distribution, vertical transmission, and particle size

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Abstract

Observations were made of a dense smoke plume downwind from a forest fire using the ALPHA-1 two-wavelength downward-looking airborne lidar system. Facsimile displays derived from lidar signatures depict plume dimensions, boundary layer height, and underlying terrain elevation. Surface returns are interpreted in terms of vertical transmission as function of cross-plume distance. Results show significantly greater plume attenuation at 0.53-μm wavelength than at 1.06-μm, indicating ~0.1-μm mean particle diameters or the presence of gaseous constituents that absorb the visible radiation. These results demonstrate the potential of multiple-wavelength airborne lidar for quantitative analysis of atmospheric particulate and gaseous constituents.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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